MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange honored Civil Rights pioneer Claudette Colvin Tuesday during the "Mayor's Message" portion of the city council meeting.
Strange presented a proclamation that announced that March 2 will be Claudette Colvin Day in Alabama's capital city.
"Whereas her role in the fight to end segregation in Montgomery may not be widely recognized, Claudette Colvin played an important role in helping to advance Civil Rights efforts," Strange said. "Whereas Claudette Colvin's resolve and determination to retain her seat on that bus 62 years ago began the move to end racial segregation and discrimination making Montgomery the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement."
Unfortunately, Colvin was not on hand to personally accept the mayor's proclamation. Instead, it was presented to Rev. Joseph Rembert in her honor.
Ms. Colvin, who lives in New York, was just 15-years-old when she was heading home from school on a Montgomery city bus back on March 2, 1955. The bus driver ordered her to give up her seat to a white passenger, but she did something unthinkable at the time. She refused and was arrested.
Colvin's act of defiance happened months before history recorded the name of another woman who did the same thing. Her name? Rosa Parks.
"I think they were looking for the right person, the face of the total movement," Colvin explained during a 2015 interview when asked why Parks' actions took the national spotlight and not herself.
Colvin doesn't regret what she did that day. She's not bitter at how some have portrayed her past. Her joy comes in knowing that Rosa Parks was able to continue what she started on a Montgomery city bus more than 60 years ago.