Black History Month – Day 24

Irene Morgan (4/9/17 – 8/10/2007) Irene_Morgan

July 1944

The before Rosa Parks, there was Irene Morgan. She was arrested in Middlesex County, Virginia (on a Greyhound bus) for refusing to sit in the designated spot for blacks, during an interstate bus ride. According to Virginia, segregation was still going to occur in their state. The bus stopped and a sheriff was summoned to the bus. She was arrested, but not before kicking the officer in the groin and fighting.

She pled guilty to resisting arrest but refused to plead guilty to “violating Virginia’s segregation laws.”


Day 22: Irene Morgan

The reason some of us can ride on the Greyhounds heading south.

She was on a bus from Maryland to Virginia. In Virginia she was arrested for violating the state’s segregation laws pertaining to seating on the bus. After she kicked the one officer in the groin and fought another, she eventually pled guilty to resisting arrest but refused to accept responsibility for the segregation violation. It was appealed and successfully repealed!

This was in 1944, 11 years before Rosa Parks.

Lucy Terry and Claudette Colvin

This is going to be a two parter.

Lucy Terry was the author of African American literature that was published until after her death. She wrote about an incident in Deerfield, MA with Native Americans in 1746. It was orally passed on until 1855 when it was finally published. She was a former slave in Vermont.

Claudette Colvin is the woman who was first to be taken to jail and fined for not getting up and giving her seat to white persons on a crowded bus. 9 months before Rosa Parks. Because she was just a teenager, who was pregnant and unwed at the time, it wasn’t in the NAACP’s favor to put her as a pillar of struggle. It wasn’t until the secretary of the NAACP was imprisoned that the segregation of buses in Montgomery, Alabama became an apparent issue.