Claudette Colvin is alive: The civil rights activist’s life now

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement is often overlooked but she remains one of the youngest pioneers of the movement in Alabama. On March 2, 1955, she made history by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery.

She was only 15 years old when she was arrested for the act. Today, Colvin is a retired nurse aide who worked and lived in the Bronx, New York for some time before moving to Birmingham, Alabama. She is now 83 years old and has five children and six grandchildren.

Claudette Colvin officially cleared her name in 2021 – The Montgomery Juvenile Court expunged her 1955 arrest record

Claudette Colvin’s arrest record for the 1955 bus incident was never expunged even after the Browder v. Gayle case overturned the bus segregation laws. She was one of the four plaintiffs in the landmark case.

In October 2021, Colvin filed a petition in Montgomery Juvenile Court, Alabama for the expungement of her arrest record. All her life, she had lived under probation stemming from the charges. She wanted to officially clear her name as proof of the progress made by the country.

“I want [my grandchildren] to know that their grandmother stood up for something – against the injustice in America. The laws will change, and a lot of people, not only myself, paid the price and made sacrifices. We are not where we’re supposed to be, but don’t take the freedom that we do have for granted,” said Colvin.

On November 24, 2021, Judge Calvin Williams of Montgomery County signed the order to expunge the six decades-old juvenile court records of Colvin’s arrest. After clearing her name, Calvin moved to Texas to live with her family.