Black Woman Still On Probation For Refusing To Give Up Seat On Segregated Bus In 1955

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85-year-old Claudette Colvin hasn’t been in trouble with the law since she was 15. But everyday she leaves the house her family worries that police could arrest her at any moment. She’s been on probation since 1955.

On March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin and her friend hopped on a bus in the segregated state of Alabama.

The two teenage black girls sat down but didn’t realize they were sitting next to two white girls, a big no-no in the south during the time.

The girls were asked to move to the back of the bus, but Clovin refused.

The bus driver immediately called the police. Once police arrived on the scene they began to physically remove Clovin from the bus. According to the police report, Clovin kicked and scratched an officer during the incident.

She was immediately arrested, charged with assault, and her case was sent to juvenile court. The judge found her delinquent and placed her on probation.

Almost 67 years later she still believes she is on probation. Colvin has never received info that states she has completed her probation and said her family constantly worries that police could come to get her at any time.

“My conviction for standing up for my constitutional right terrorized my family and relatives who knew only that they were not to talk about my arrest and conviction because people in town knew me as ‘that girl from the bus,'” said Colvin in an interview with AP.

But Colvin and her lawyer still hope to get her record expunged by the Montgomery County court.

Since she was judged as a delinquent, the 85-year-old will have to make her request at a juvenile court.

According to AP, the Montgomery County’ chief court clerk said he agrees with the request and suggests they isn’t much doubt that Clovin’s record would be expunged, but when that will happen is anyone’s guess.

But whenever it does happen, it will be a special day for Clovin and her family.

“I am an old woman now,” said Colvin. “Having my records expunged will mean something to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And it will mean something for other Black children.”

 

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