Claudette Colvin’s Fight to Clear Record Could Impact MLK and Parks Arrests

In Summary

Claudette Colvin’s journey to have her protesting arrest record removed is raising the possibility of the same consideration being given to late civil rights movement trailblazers Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. 

Claudette Colvin, a pioneer during the civil rights movement, has fought to have her arrest record from 70 years ago, for protesting against racial segregation, be expunged, according to the Associated Press

Her battle has opened up the possibility of the same consideration being offered to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, whose convictions are still on the books in Alabama’s capital. 

RELATED: Juneteenth 2021: How you can celebrate in your state

Parks was convicted of breaking racial segregation laws after she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, while King was ordered to pay a $500 fine for initiating the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 

In the case of King, an up-and-coming pastor at the time, efforts to reverse the conviction in court failed, according to civil rights attorney Fred Gray, who represented both King and Parks. 

RELATED: Marian Croak, Patricia Bath Will Be First Black Women in National Inventors HOF 

A few months before Park’s arrest, Colvin was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. “My mindset was on freedom,” she said after filing the expungement request. Her request has yet to be decided. 

“We might just decide to file a lawsuit on his behalf to have that record expunged,” Gray said. During the 1950s and 1960s numerous people were arrested in the South in connection to the civil rights demonstrations and viewed their arrest as a badge of honor for the culture.  

In 1963, Birmingham extended the opportunity for a mass pardon, but many people refused.  

Montgomery County Circuit Clerk Gina Ishman said expunging court documents removes convictions from defendants’ records but generally does not result in the destruction of documents, such as the historical police and court records involving people like Colvin, King and Parks. 

Latest in News

News

Philadelphia Hits Disturbing Record of 500 Homicides

News

Nigerian Singer Davido’s Birthday Requests Becomes Act of Charity

News

Hulu Releases Documentary on Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction

Dr. Kariamu Welsh Dies

News

Restorative Justice: Charges Dropped Against Officer Who Shot Black Woman

News

President Biden Chooses Shalanda Young to Lead White House Budget Office

Beyoncé and Jay-Z

News

Jay-Z Surpasses Quincy Jones as Highest Grammy Nominated Artist

News

Astronaut Jessica Watkins To Be First Black Woman on Space Station

News

Former Capitol Police Officer Files Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination