The Best Claudette Colvin quotes

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On March 2, 1955, a young girl named Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested, and the story of her brave stand made headlines across the country. But few people know that Claudette Colvin was not the first African American to refuse to give up her bus seat…that distinction belongs to Rosa Parks. Why has Claudette’s story been overshadowed by Rosa Parks? Learn more about this little-known civil rights pioneer in today’s blog post.

Discover the most interesting quotes from Claudette Colvin, and much more.


About Claudette Colvin

birth of the author

September 5, 1939

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Civil Rights Activist, Nurse Aide

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Years Active:

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Civil Rights Movement

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Known For:
Arrested At The Age Of 15 In Montgomery, Alabama, For Refusing To Give Up Her Seat To A White Woman On A Segregated Bus

Inspiring Phrases From Claudette Colvin

New York is a completely different culture to Montgomery, Alabama. — Claudette Colvin

I’d like my grandchildren to be able to see that their grandmother stood up for something, a long time ago. — Claudette Colvin

I was ostracized by my community. — Claudette Colvin

I wanted the young African–American girls also on the bus to know that they had a right to be there, because they had paid their fare just like the white passengers. — Claudette Colvin

new york is a completely different culture to montgomery alabama Claudette Colvin quote

When I told my mother I was pregnant, I thought she was going to have a heart attack. — Claudette Colvin

I became aware of how the world is and how the white establishment plays black people against each other. — Claudette Colvin

There was segregation everywhere. The churches, buses and schools were all segregated and you couldn’t even go into the same restaurants. — Claudette Colvin

Various Statements From Claudette Colvin

We were churchgoing people. — Claudette Colvin

I lost most of my friends. Their parents had told them to stay away from me, because they said I was crazy, I was an extremist. — Claudette Colvin

we were churchgoing people Claudette Colvin quote

Rosa Parks wasn’t the first one to rebel against the segregated seats. I was the first one. — Claudette Colvin

There were many African Americans–many, many stories similar to my story. — Claudette Colvin

What do we have to do to make God love us?’ I always grew up with that. I always used to go around thinking that. ‘God loved the white people better. He must’ve. That’s why he made them white.’ — Claudette Colvin

When our founding fathers drafted the Constitution and Bill of Rights, black people weren’t even considered human. — Claudette Colvin

A lot of African American women wanted to emulate white women. But I said in my mind, rationally thinking, there is no way you are going to get your hair that straight, especially in the summer. — Claudette Colvin

More Phrases From Claudette Colvin

I knew then and I know now, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. — Claudette Colvin

I left the South in 1963 and was living in Morristown, New Jersey, when the March on Washington took place, so I watched it on television instead. — Claudette Colvin

I’ve always told my children that once they go out into the world, they must have two heads and two minds: one to keep grounded, the other to deal with corporate America. — Claudette Colvin

I wanted to be an attorney. My mother would say I never stopped talking. I always had a lot of questions to ask, and I was never satisfied with the answer. A lot of things I wasn’t satisfied by. — Claudette Colvin

Redundant Thematics

In Claudette Colvin Statements


That was worse than stealing, you know, talking back to a white person. — Claudette Colvin

i knew then and i know now when it comes to justice there is no easy way to get it Claudette Colvin quote

We learned about people like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington and Marian Anderson. Harriet Tubman was my favorite. — Claudette Colvin

I just couldn’t move. History had me glued to the seat. — Claudette Colvin

Deeper Quotes From Claudette Colvin

Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president, because so many others gave their lives and didn’t get to see it, and I thank God for letting me see it. — Claudette Colvin

The light–skinned girls always thought they were better looking. So did the teachers, too. That meant most of the dark complexion ones didn’t like themselves. — Claudette Colvin

I was about four years old the first time I ever saw what happened when you acted up to whites. — Claudette Colvin

When I got to 10th grade at Booker T. Washington High, I had a teacher, Miss Geraldine Nesbitt. I think she came from New York. She helped me begin to question things. — Claudette Colvin

When you’ve been abused daily and you see people humiliated and harassed, you just get tired of it. — Claudette Colvin


Claudette Colvin was just 15 years old when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white person. She was one of the earliest and youngest people to take a stand against segregation in the United States, and she has since become an inspiration for many. Her story is proof that there are no small acts of defiance – every step we take towards justice, big or small, counts. If you’re looking for some motivation and inspiration, be sure to check out our courses. We have something for everyone, regardless of your level of experience or expertise. With our help, you can learn how to make a difference in your community and beyond.