/  10.26.2021

Claudette Colvin, the civil rights activist who was arrested back in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a bus, is seeking to have her record expunged.

According to The Associated Press, on Tuesday (Oct. 26), Colvin’s legal team is planning to file a request with the Montgomery Court to have the charges removed. She was previously charged with one felony count of assaulting a police officer and two counts of violating the city’s segregation ordinance. She was convicted on all counts in a juvenile court, but it was later overturned on an appeal.

“I am an old woman now. Having my records expunged will mean something to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it will mean something for other Black children,” Colvin, who is now 82 years old, said in a sworn statement.

Back in 1955, Colvin, who was 15 years old at the time, and another Black girl were sitting across from two white girls, according to the police arrest report. They refused to give up their seats in the front of the bus to move to the back with the rest of the “colored” people. Colvin refused and was placed under arrest.

Colvin’s case took place nine months before Rosa Parks also refused to give up her bus seat. However, she previously told CNN that Parks received more attention because her image was more “acceptable to a white” community.

Colvin is hoping that getting her record erased will help society progress. “I want us to move forward and be better,” she reportedly said in the filing. “When I think about why I’m seeking to have my name cleared by the state, it is because I believe if that happened it would show the generation growing up now that progress is possible and things do get better. It will inspire them to make the world better.”


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