Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
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Phillip Hoose
ISBN 9780374313227
Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
Winner of the National Book Award; a Newbery Honor book; a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
5 stars
Keywords: civil-rights-movement claudette-colvin claudette-twice-toward-justice justice montgomery-bus-boycotts phillip-hoose

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
by Phillip Hoose

Phillip Hoose won the 2009 National Book Award for this book about a brave teenager who, as an African American in segregated Montgomery, Ala., refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger on March 2, 1955—nine months before Rosa Parks’ identical action set off the Montgomery bus boycotts. Colvin was only 15 when she took a brave stand by remaining seated, and she was thrown in jail. Although she was released on probation, “I would have a police record whenever I went to get a job, or when I tried to go to college,” Colvin said. A little over one year later, on May 11, 1956, she once again stood up for justice, as a plaintiff in the Browder v. Gayle case, which challenged the constitutionality of Alabama’s segregation laws. Why did the Civil Rights Movement choose to make Rosa Parks the figure at the forefront of the bus boycott, and not Claudette Colvin? This book reveals the complexities at work within the movement, as well as the injustices that Claudette Colvin had witnessed around her, bringing her to that moment when she could summon the courage to remain seated when the bus driver demanded that she surrender her seat to a white woman. Not only does Hoose’s account, liberally laced with quotes from interviews he conducted with Colvin, set the record straight, it is an inspiration to all young people about the sweeping changes that can come from one brave act and a belief in doing the right thing.
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