Claudette Colvin, civil rights pioneer, seeks to have her record erased


Ka-Santa Sanders, who lives in the King Hill neighborhood of Montgomery, where Ms Colvin grew up, and has led efforts to protect Ms Colvin’s legacy, asked the town earlier this year if anything could be done. made to honor her and the central role she played in the struggle for civil rights.

“Immediately we started contacting people to try to figure out how we could get her file cleaned up,” Ms. Sanders said.

But there was a skeptic: Ms. Colvin herself.

Ms Colvin’s sister Gloria Laster said their distrust of the justice system led them to believe their efforts would be in vain.

Yet knowing that she would be moving at the end of October to live with her son and grandchildren in Texas, and that this was her last chance to set the record straight for history, Colvin agreed to proceed. She went to an office in Birmingham, Alabama, where she lives in an assisted living facility, and completed the petition.

Ms. Colvin smiled as she signed the affidavit. She wore a pink collared shirt, her eyes behind large rectangular glasses, as in 1955. She did so, she says, to “show the generation that is growing up now that progress is possible and that things are getting better.” .

“The fight continues,” Colvin said Tuesday. “I just don’t want us to regress as a race, as a minority group and lose hope. Keep the faith, keep going and keep fighting.

The judge who takes care of his case, Calvin L. Williams, said in an interview Monday that he was aware of its historical significance. He is the first black judge to sit on Alabama’s 15th Judicial Circuit Court.


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