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Unsung Heroine: Civil Rights Pioneer Gets Her Due

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Rosa Parks was not the first Black woman to refuse to give up her seat on the bus. Claudette Colvin decided to stay seated on March 2, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama; nine months before Parks's famous act of civil defiance, according to Newsweek.com. Colvin, then a 15-year-old schoolgirl, was yanked by both wrists and dragged off but never became a household name, but that may change thanks to a new book by Phillip Hoose, "Claudette Colvin, Twice Toward Justice."

The book describes how Colvin stood her ground, yelling, "It's my constitutional right" as the cops pulled her off the bus. Despite Colvin's lack of fame, Hoose believes she was an instrumental predecessor to Parks. Today, Colvin is 69 and a retired nurse living in New York City.—BB

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