U.S. Civil Rights Pioneer Claudette Colvin Seeks to Have Her Record Cleared

United States civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin, who was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat for a white person, is seeking to have her criminal record expunged.

Colvin was 15 years old when she was convicted in juvenile court for two counts of violating the segregation ordinance in Montgomery, Alabama one felony count of assaulting a police officer during the arrest in March 1955.

Colvin, now 82, is challenging in court that her conviction never officially ended.

Colvin was placed on “indefinite probation” for the assault conviction and she was never informed that her probation ended when she came of age, Colvin’s lawyer Phillip Ensler told CNN.

“She thought she’s been on probation this entire time,” Ensler said, adding that it was “long overdue justice.”

Colvin said in the filing that she wants her name to be cleared because 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.”

“Having my records expunged will mean something to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it will mean something for other black children,” Colvin also said.

Colvin’s family and legal team also said that she is seeking the expungement now because of her plans to move to Texas with her family soon.

Montogmery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said in a press conference that he supports Colvin’s motion.

Colvin’s bus incident happened nine months before Rosa Parks famously did the same, but Parks’ case received more attention while Colvin’s case remains relatively unknown.

Colvin told CNN earlier this year that Parks was more “acceptable to a White” community because she was older, married, and had lighter skin.


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