She Persisted: Claudette Colvin

Philomel. (She Persisted). Feb. 2021. 80p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593115831.
Gr 1-4–In March 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks made her historic stand against segregation on a Montgomery bus, Black teenager Claudette Colvin (b. 1939) refused to give up her Montgomery bus seat to a white woman. Arrested and verbally abused by police, 15-year-old Colvin endured her trial, where she was found guilty. Following Parks’s arrest in December 1955, attorney Fred Gray sued the state of Alabama in Browder v. Gayle. The case sought to challenge state statutes and city ordinances instituting segregation on Montgomery buses; Colvin was tapped as one of the plaintiffs. Colvin, a devoutly religious and thoughtful young woman, was acutely aware of the injustices of Jim Crow laws and understood that the bus segregation laws violated her constitutional rights. This title provides a sufficient introduction to Colvin’s role in the civil rights movement. Her religious devotion is emphasized and accounts of her arrest and trial are well-explored and provide an engaging read. The text ends right after Colvin testifies in court in the case of Browder v. Gayle, and readers will wonder what became of the teenager later in her life. Older readers could seek further information about Colvin in Phillip Hoose’s Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.
VERDICT Cline-Ransome’s narrative provides a knowledgable, interesting introduction to an important player in the civil rights movement. Recommended for school and public libraries.

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