Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Second Edition
Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II, Priya Parmar and David Stovall
Chapter Seven: Emerging from Our Silos: Coalition Building for Black Girls
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While taking a stroll through the “museum” of radical Black women, James (2012) argues that one will encounter the names, faces, and stories of women who “remain on the fringe of consciousness due to denied access to ‘Black respectability.’” These women, James argues, “need to be liberated from the museum” where they have been forgotten. James argues that Claudette Colvin is one example of a woman whose story was left behind in exchange for a more respectable story found in Rosa Parks. In a biography of Claudette Colvin, Hoose (2009) captures the story of a 15-year-old girl who had the tenacity to refuse to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery bus in 1956 to a white woman prior to the high-profile story of Rosa Parks. When Colvin became pregnant, she was no longer a candidate for marking this movement. According to Colvin, “There was a time when I thought I would be the centerpiece of the bus case. I was eager to keep going in court…. I had enough self-confidence to keep going…. But what I did know is that they all turned their backs on me, especially after I got pregnant. It really, really hurt” (Hoose, 2009, p. 61). Colvin at the time of her resistance was armed with a new knowledge of self after learning about Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman during “Negro History Month” at her segregated school. “I felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down,...