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Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  808 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Based on the book "Noire" by Tania de Montagne

A few months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, kicking off the U.S. civil rights movement, making headlines around he world and becoming an enduring symbol of the fight for dignity and equality, another young black woman refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in M
ebook, 136 pages
Published April 17th 2019 (first published March 25th 2015)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  808 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, comics, english
***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Edit: I just noticed that this book is mine 1300 book rated and I think I am actually pretty happy that this milestone got a five-star rating.

Okay, now I'm angry at myself. I got this book in May, but it took me until now to read it.

And I'm speechless.

The segregation, Jim Crow and then the Civil Rights Movement. I read so much about those, and it still surprises me how much I still do not know. It's
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea that 15 year-old Claudette Colvin had refused to give up her seat on a bus, and had been jailed for it, months before Rosa Parks. And that because of various reasons to do with a Colvin’s personal life, she was omitted from mention as organizers needed people to headline the desegregation effort in Montgomery. Claudette Colvin was so brave, and it’s a pity her name was forgotten for years.
The comic’s artwork is a combination of little, kind of scribbly drawings surrounded by lots o
Surely most U.S. readers have heard of Rosa Parks and the role she played during the civil rights movement but have you heard of Claudette Colvin? I know I had not heard of her prior to reading this book. It made me wonder how other important details were omitted from all my grade school and high school history classes.

Sadly, for many years Ms. Colvin was basically erased from history, including her activism and role in Browder v. Gayle.
She wasn't deemed to be good role model by the men who we
Reading_ Tamishly
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's painful to read about such discrimination and assaults towards the black people, and to know that these things are still happening.

Where's the so called development and advancements that everyone is talking about when we are still behaving the same way a century ago?

We human are the circus lot still.

It's actually funny to read about the false charges and the various false accusations made on a 15 year old just because she was black while it was the white police officers who took advantage
This book was an eye opener for me. I knew of Rosa Parks of course but I had not heard of Claudette Colvin before reading this.

In 1955, she was arrested after she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This was a few months before Rosa Parks’ arrest.

Colvin pleaded not guilty and sued the state.

She later was one of the plaintiffs who testified in the federal court case to challenge bus segregation. But Colvin was a teenager and was perceived as unrespectable be
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
An adaptation of the book "Noire" by Tania de Montagne, which I didn’t read so can’t really compare both. But for this book alone, I find it to be a good representation of what it was like to live in that time as a black person. It offer good history and social background and it’s presented in an easy to understand format that could be accessible to a vast majority. Of course if you already know about that time and already learn or read on that subject, you won’t learn much, because all of it wa ...more
Rod Brown
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
There are great points made in this story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott about how history gets simplified and less desirable people are erased from the accepted narrative of events and how women's contributions to history can be overshadowed by men hogging the spotlight, but the execution is muted, dull and vague. It really hurts that the illustrations are exclusively long shots, with pages being nearly static as little figures swarm like ants around prominent fixtures like buses, jail cells, or ...more
Ed Erwin
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Montgomery Alabama, 1955, a Black woman gets tired of being pushed around and refuses to give up her seat to a White person. She gets arrested, accused of assaulting the police among other charges. Eventually this leads to boycotts, protests and eventually a change in the laws. The woman's name was Claudette Colvin.

Why do we remember the name Rosa Parks but not her? Short answer: Rosa Parks was organized. She planned her action in advance and had people ready to publicize and support her action,
Queen Cronut
A simple yet compelling graphic novel about Claudette Colvin, one of the many overlooked figures in American history who helped fight for civil rights. What amazed me was Claudette Colvin could've had the legacy Rosa Parks holds in history yet never received the recognition because she was a minor and considered an unrespectable model because of her unexpected teen pregnancy (it is implied that she was raped by a white man). This was a fascinating and riveting narrative of Claudette Colvin's lif ...more
Just wow😧

The first thing that comes to my mind is that men have historically stripped the validity and exhaust of women's actions and I'm pissed about it! 😤 Rosa Parks not being able to speak because it was deemed, by a man, unnecessary. Claudette's brave stance was overlooked be cause she was 16, pregnant and by the misspelling of her last name. Years later she received the notoriety she deserved.

I wanted to know more about this married white man that impregnated a 15 year old girl. Also, why C
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, graphic-novel
Most people interested in history or social issues in the US have heard of Rosa Parks, but hardly anyone has heard of Claudette Colvin. Colvin refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white person and was arrested for her offense in March 1955, 9 months before the same thing happened to Rosa Parks. The difference was that Colvin was a 15 year old teenager who failed to excite the lasting support of the black community to her cause. She had initial support which resulted ...more
Bruna Miranda
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to admit I had never had about Claudette Colvin before learning about this graphic novel and Tania de Montagne's book, "Noire". Not proud of it, however it comes to show one of the two biggest messages of this book: that behind every great name in History there are some many others that weren't on the right place at the right time or fit the profile necessary to be the face of that great event. It is not at all a criticism or a way of erasing Rosa Parks' importance and role on the Black m ...more
Callie Hutchison
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Learned so much - a must-read!
Jenn Adams
An interesting graphic history that reveals an often untold portion of the struggle for civil rights.
Madeline Wright
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I was amazed at the depth of this story as created by Emilie Plateau.

A prime showcase of the U.S. Civil Rights desegregation movement's unfortunate need to have a "perfect" victim in order to get the necessary attention in society and make a move toward positive change. Though I had heard of Ms. Colvin's story prior to this book, this comic book really illustrated the struggle and elevated the specific work of all of the women involved who didn't end up in the press photos as champions of t
Héloïse ☾
A comic book that stands out. A drawing style that has its charm and remains simple
The characters look like small sketches. The illustrations of the city of Montgomery are beautiful. Everything about this book is perfect.
I didn't expect anything from this comic, which a co-worker lent me, but I must say : it was heartbreaking, as it is often the case with true stories. This one is only a few decades old...
The fact that the story of Claudette Colvin, a young black teenager, has been forgotten in
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel was simple and easy to read. I’m always enthusiastic about how the characters are drawn. The drawings in this book made me think of a grade school kid’s art work. It wasn’t messy or bad just really simple. The story told about Claudette was something that I vaguely knew about, of course she’s never really discussed when it comes to the boycott of the buses in Montgomery because she was a teen who was pregnant. They felt she wasn’t a good representation of the movement despite ...more
Stephanie Cooke
Feb 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
An insightful and educational graphic novel shedding light on a figure from history that has mostly been brushed aside. Claudette Colvin had an almost identical experience to the one Rosa Parks had…and before Rosa too. But due to finding herself pregnant as a young teen, the desegregation movement chose Rosa to be the face of what they were doing.

Rosa Parks remains brave and iconic and helped to change the world for the better. But this sheds the light on the other women who stood alongside her
M.C. Chronister
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel was really amazing and educational. I had never heard of Claudette before picking this novel up and it did a marvelous job of informing. I would gladly recommend this to anyone who has children that want to know more about the life of Claudette Calvin and the struggles of African American people.
January Gray
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sadly, I have never heard of Claudette and her story until this book! Informative and interesting to read. A reminder of what isn't taught in schools. I recommend this book to everyone. ...more
En tant quelqu'une américaine... I knew about segregation and the civil Rights movement and I learned about Claudette Colvin ten years ago maybe , but it's still an excellent graphic novel. For me the biggest takeaway/reminder is that the stories a nation tells itself are just that, general stories, fables even, with just the highlights or even turned around so that the best light shines on them. As a kid I remember being presented with that myth about Rosa Parks being just a poor tired seamstre ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Colored: the unsung life of Claudette Colvin isn’t a book that I would usually pick up from the library, but when I was scrolling through NetGalley, the title of the novel caught my eye. As a graphic novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of storytelling with pictures versus words.

Every student in the United States who has passed middle school has heard the name Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., but has anyone ever heard of Claudette Colvin? This is one of those moments where I feel
Benjamin Elliott
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
As the title would suggest, I was unfamiliar with Claudette Colvin before reading this title. Bringing to light her contributions to the broader story of desegregating buses in the south reinforces the injustice of this time and the importance of this while also showing that even while the civil rights movement was working towards something good it had its own issues with the way women were treated. Women are the ones highlighted as being arrested and taking risks to bring injustice to light, bu ...more
Jozef Syndicate
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin by Emilie Plateau tells the story of the first Black woman to not give up her seat to a white person during the time of Jim Crow laws, This book is especially important for historical pretense because it reveals the little known true story of how Claudette Colvin was not supported in her protest and was instead pre-judged because she was a teenager.

Most people have been taught Rosa Parks was the first woman to not give up her seat but that's because t
Trisa (Absolute Bookishness)
Happened upon this historical graphic novel when, while scrolling through my library's ebook collection, its intriguing artwork caught my eye. And I'm glad it did. What a powerful yet sad history of a young heroine who stood up for her rights and supported those of others, but failed to receive the full recognition and respect she truly deserves.

I'm sorry to say that I've never heard of Claudette Colvin before stumbling across this book.  But, after reading it, I understand why.  It seems to be
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A graphic novel retelling of the story of Claudette Colvin, the first black woman to challenge segregation laws in Alabama. What struck me about the story was how it took an unflinching look at traditionally revered historical icons like Martin Luther King Jr. and addressed the deceit, manipulation, sexist attitudes and cynicism that informed the civil rights struggle in 50s America. Colvin was brave, willing to fight, and unyielding in her beliefs, but was shunned by her own people because of h ...more
Feb 18, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-hoopla
I loved the monochromatic colors in the illustrations of this graphic novel, which really distinguished the difference between black and white spaces in this story.

I wasn't a huge fan of the mixed perspectives, sometimes told in third and then second person. The second person narrative is directed at Claudette but I didn't love that because I think it stripped Claudette of her own voice.

I also felt like Rosa Parks was slightly villainized in this story. She is used as a tool for fighting segre
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Noirse is informative and eye-opening but not the most engaging read. The simplified art style - without panels, often lacking backgrounds or a setting of any kind but instead just two characters with narration written around them - is perfect for non-fiction. More detailed and realistic artwork would take away from the importance of the story, and this book really wants you to understand the story above all. The art is effectively used to convey the information as an assist to the writing, inst ...more
Everyone has heard of Rosa Parks (even the characters on Doctor Who!) but few people have heard of Claudette Colvin, the 15-year-old girl who was arrested and charged for refusing to give up her seat on the bus earlier in the year, and who served as one of the five plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle case that eventually desegregated Montgomery's bus system.

Emilie Plateau's book Noire is a good start to rectifying that. With a unique, spare style of art that prioritizes white space and text on mo
Amy Layton
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Told largely in the second person, Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin gives a personal account of Colvin's life as she rose to become a symbol of the civil rights movement and fell to be forgotten after a white man rapes her.  Though largely about the civil rights movement, what happened before Rosa Parks, and how segregation was fought,  Colored also discusses plenty of other issues such as rape, gender, innocence, and violence.  After all, Claudette was the perfect symbol--a young gi ...more
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