for more Claudette Colvin quotes:Click Here

  1. As long as white people put people of color, African Americans and Latinos, in the same dispensable bag, and look at our children of color as insignificant and treat women of color as not as deserving of protection as white women, we will never achieve true equality.
  2. Rosa Parks wasn’t the first one to rebel against the segregated seats. I was the first one.
  3. For African-Americans, it’s still going to be — some people say double hard — I’d say four times as hard. Be an opportunist. Take advantage of your resources, because the only way to win is with education, self-esteem, having value in yourself.
  4. I never swore when I was young.
  5. What do we have to do to make God love us?’ I always grew up with that. I always used to go around thinking that. ‘God loved the white people better. He must’ve. That’s why he made them white.’
  6. I remember during Easter one year, I was to get a pair of black patent shoes but you could only get them from the white stores, so my mother drew the outline of my feet on a brown paper bag in order to get the closest size, because we weren’t allowed to go in the store to try them on.
  7. When I told my mother I was pregnant, I thought she was going to have a heart attack.
  8. A lot has changed since I grew up, but there’s still a long way to go. I don’t think we can move forward with Donald Trump as the president. There’s a disconnect there. We don’t want to regress, we want progress.
  9. When you’ve been abused daily and you see people humiliated and harassed, you just get tired of it.
  10. Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn’t the case at all.
  11. We learned about people like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington and Marian Anderson. Harriet Tubman was my favorite.
  12. I’ve always told my children that once they go out into the world, they must have two heads and two minds: one to keep grounded, the other to deal with corporate America.
  13. I became aware of how the world is and how the white establishment plays black people against each other.
  14. There was segregation everywhere. The churches, buses and schools were all segregated and you couldn’t even go into the same restaurants.
  15. I wanted the young African-American girls also on the bus to know that they had a right to be there, because they had paid their fare just like the white passengers.
  16. I always tell young people to hold on to their dreams. And sometimes you have to stand up for what you think is right even if you have to stand alone.
  17. Back then, as a teenager, I kept thinking, why don’t the adults around here just say something? Say it so they know we don’t accept segregation? I knew then and I know now that, when it comes to justice, there’s no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’
  18. I was ostracized by my community.
  19. Whenever people ask me: ‘Why didn’t you get up when the bus driver asked you?’ I say it felt as though Harriet Tubman’s hands were pushing me down on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth’s hands were pushing me down on the other shoulder. I felt inspired by these women because my teacher taught us about them in so much detail.
  20. That was worse than stealing, you know, talking back to a white person.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store