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8 amazing kids who have changed the world

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 14, 2011, 8:03 a.m.
book cover of "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice"

Photo: Macmillan

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Claudette Colvin

Rosa Parks is credited with starting the civil rights movement in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus. But a 15-year-old African-American girl named Claudette Colvin had refused to relinquish her seat nine months before Rosa Parks did the same. Arrested in 1955, Claudette was a student at Booker T. Washington High School who often took the bus to school. Ultimately, she challenged this law in court in Browder v. Gayle, where “a federal court suit involving Colvin eventually led to a Supreme Court order that outlawed segregated buses.” Today Colvin is a retiree who lives in the Bronx, N.Y.