Claudette Colvin

"Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president," said Claudette Colvin, who before Rosa Parks was arrested for keeping her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president,” said Claudette Colvin, who was arrested before Rosa Parks was arrested for keeping her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama.

Claudette Colvin broke ground nearly 10 months before Rosa Parks.  In March 1955, Colvin, then just 15 years old, was arrested for violating an ordinance in Montgomery, Alabama, that required segregation on city buses, according to a Stanford University entry. Colvin went to jail without a chance to call her family, a University of Idaho researcher wrote.
Colvin and other women challenged the law in court. But black civil rights leaders, pointing to circumstances in Colvin’s personal life, thought Parks would make a better icon for the movement. “Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president,” Colvin said in the 2017 book “Still I Rise.” “So many others gave their lives and didn’t get to see it, and I thank God for letting me see it.”

Faith Church and Other Leaders Take Civil Rights History Trip

News Coverage and Reflections of the Alabama trip:

In early January, a delegation of 37 Christians and Jews from Hartford traveled together to Alabama to retrace the steps of civil rights leaders.
The trip, which has grown from members of Faith Congregational Church and its sister congregation, Immanuel Congregational Church, was co-sponsored by and included travelers from the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Jewish Community Relations Council. The Alabama trip included visits to new civil rights museums  (The Legacy Museum:  From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which commemorates 4,000 lynching victims, opened to the public on April 26, 2018, in Montgomery, Alabama) as well as the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma (the sight of Bloody Sunday), the 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park  in Birmingham.  United Church of Christ representatives included Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi, Immanuel Congregational Church Senior Pastor the Rev. Kari Nicewander, Immanuel Associate Pastor The Rev. Isaac Lawson and Faith Congregational Church Pastor Stephen Camp.  

In Honor of Martin Luther King Day, CT Jewish Ledger, Jan. 15, 2019

Selma Tourism Impacted by Government ShutdownAlabama News Network, Jan. 4, 2019

Local Interfaith Leaders to Retrace Civil Rights History, We-Ha.com, Dec. 27, 2018

Reflections

Seeing Is Believing– Stephen Camp

I Felt Fear. But We Shall Overcome – Isaac Lawson

To Tell the Truth: Reflections on Alabama – Kari Nicewander

You Can’t Change What You Don’t Acknowledge– Kent Siladi

National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Our visit to the National Memorial, a memorial to the named and unnamed victims of lynching, began in the rain. We toured the grounds and looked at row upon row of rectangular steel blocks inscribed with the names of victims in each county in which a lynching took place.

Steel blocks with names of lynching victims

We walked a winding path through the field of blocks, suspended in the air and clearly marked with the names of men women and children lynched. Some counties had 1 victim, others with a dozen or so. Counties ranged from the deep southern states of Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Arkansas to the Midwest.