Civil rights heroine discusses segregation during Black History Month

Bronx youths met an unsung civil rights heroine Monday to kick off this year's Black History Month.



Claudette Colvin was 15 years old in 1955, when she was arrested for refusing to give her seat up to a white woman in Montgomery, Alabama. Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was famously arrested for the same act months later.



Colvin told her story to about 100 young people as part of a Bronx Youth Empowerment program called Celebrating Our History.



She says she still remembers when the white bus driver ordered her to give up her seat so a white woman could sit down. She says the strength of past African-Americans gave her the courage to stand up against inequality.



Colvin says that during the civil rights movement, there were many victories and disappointments. She says what brings her the most joy is being able to see an African-American become president within her lifetime.



Next week, state officials say they plan to honor Colvin by designating March 2 as Claudette Colvin Day.


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