When you think of important figures in black history, who do you think of? Martin Luther King, Jr? Harriet Tubman? Rosa Parks? What about Claudette Colvin? Never heard of her?
Well, I hadn’t either until I read Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose. Long before Rosa Parks took her famous stand on an Alabama bus, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat to a white woman. She was dragged from the bus, kicked, and arrested. Because she was a teenager and from a poor family and neighborhood, the leaders of the civil rights movement did not highlight her case seeing her as an unfit role model. She was shunned by her classmates and ridiculed in the community. Her stand did start the fuel for the famous bus boycott, though. Claudette even spent time with Rosa Parks and had many conversations with her. It was until Rosa Parks did the same thing as Claudette that the actual boycott began. This book showcases her story and tells of her heroism and struggles as well as how her own people turned their back on her.
This book is a “MUST READ” because it brings up the important issue of untold history. We only know what we’ve been told, and thankfully Phillip Hoose took the time to tell this woman’s story. After reading this book, I have a whole different outlook on the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks. It also made me think back to when I was a teenager and how there were times when I felt like nobody was listening to me. I certainly never tried to stand up for something as large as what Claudette stood up for, but it made me remember the importance of listening to every voice no matter how old or experienced.
Claudette Colvin is a hero, and I am so thankful that she stood up for her rights. Even though she did not get the credit that she deserved at the time, I hope this book will shine light on her heroism and write her name into the history books alongside the others who have paved the way in black history.
This book is coming soon to our media center. Look for it in the next few weeks!
Reviewed by Mr. Plemmons