Turns out, some viral vids are actually worth the time it takes to watch them.
Donovan Livingston delivered a speech at his Harvard graduation and it went viral.
It wasn’t a normal speech – it was a poem.
The audience hushed as they listened intently. He spoke of racism in the education system, and how vital it is to offer each person an equal opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their skin color. What made his words buzz was the way he spoke: with optimism. To him, we use the past as a lesson on how to make our future a place for everyone. Donovan for president?
Most history books forget that Claudette Colvin is an African-American who refused to give up her seat on the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks.
It was March 2nd, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, when Colvin paid her fare and refused to get up from the seat for a white woman. She’d been studying Black history in high school that month and felt inspired by Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. She felt the spirit of those two women pushing her down in her seat, telling her not to give it up.
“All I remember is that I was not going to walk off the bus voluntarily,” Colvin told NPR. She was put in handcuffs and taken to the local jail.
After the incident, her civil disobedience didn’t make much of a splash. She was young and soon became pregnant. Because of this, her courageous act went all but unnoticed for many years. In fact, people began to think of her as a ‘troublemaker’ within her community and she had difficulty finding employment, and soon moved to New York.
While the court decided she was guilty in her legal case and she was given probation, Colvin did go on to serve as a plaintiff in the historic Browder v. Gayle legal case, which ended the Montgomery Bus Boycott and segregation on public buses in the city.
Many think if it wasn’t for Colvin, the media wouldn’t have paid much attention to Rosa Parks and the movement that followed. For this, we offer her immense gratitude.
If you want to learn the rest of her story, peep her interview with Teen Vogue here. Then go read Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, authored by Phil Hoose.
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