The Woman Civil Rights Leaders Threw Under a Bus

Remembering Claudette Colvin: Black History Month is the perfect time to get our history right.

Democracy Now screenshot

In the 2009 National Book Award winner, a fierce personality emerges. Colvin, without a doubt, was a passionate freedom fighter who deserves to be remembered and celebrated for her contributions to humanity. She is now a retired health worker living in New York City.

At the conclusion of her biography, Colvin reflects on her contribution to the movement and what she was thinking as a 15-year-old: “Why don’t the adults around here just say something? Say it so they know we don’t accept segregation? I knew then and I know now that, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘That’s not right.’ And I did.”

That Colvin’s story is missing from our official history is an insult to the courageous women and young people who helped changed the course of our country.

Abdul Ali is a longtime contributor to The Root. Follow him on Twitter.