Drunk History – Key Moments in the Civil Rights Movement


Today, we’re going to talk
about Claudette Colvin. Guess what?
In Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, a young black woman became the
first person who was arrested for not giving up her seat
to a white lady on the bus. That young woman’s name
is Claudette Colvin. Claudette Colvin is a
15-year-old bespectacled teenager. Uh-oh, let me say it.
Bespectacled teenager. It’s a hard word.
Bespectacled. She takes the bus home
from school, so her friends are like, “Hurray, we’re having
a fun trip to home. Uh-oh, white lady.” A white lady gets on the bus.
The white lady is like, “Hey, you guys have to move
because I’m white.” Claudette’s friends leave
but Claudette stays and is like, “You know what?
I paid my fare the same as this white lady
paid her fare,” so Claudette’s like, “… you.
I’m … sitting. Have a seat.” White lady’s like,
“I will not have a seat.” The bus driver’s like,
“I’m going to get the cops.” The cops are like, “Move.” Claudette’s like,
“I shall not be moved,” and they dragged her
off the bus. The only thing she knows
to do is to go, “It’s my constitutional right.” They’re like, “It’s 1955,
and we don’t have to do … so …”
Claudette’s like, “… 1955. I’m sorry I burped,
but I’m not sorry.” Wait, what? I was just saying like … The N.A.A.C.P. is flooded
with letters saying Claudette Colvin
is so brave. She’s wonderful, and the person
who reads these letters, the Secretary of the N.A.A.C.P.,
Rosa Parks, Rosa Parks goes to Claudette Colvin’s house
and is like, “Claudette, you’re the …”
Claudette’s like, ” I … know. I’m the one who got my ass
dragged to jail.” That’s when they really
connected and become friends, so whenever she’s at
an N.A.A.C.P. meeting, she spends the night
at Rosa Parks’ house. Rosa Parks is like,
“You know what, you’re great.” Claudette Colvin was like,
“You’re great.” They really connect. Time passes and E.D. Nixon, the president of their local
chapter of their N.A.A.C.P. is like,
“We need to start a bus boycott, and this bus boycott
will start a revolution. We should use
Claudette Colvin’s arrest as a reason
to boycott the buses. People will get behind her,”
but then they were like, “Oh, but not white people
because she has darker skin, and we can’t have a 15-year-old as the face of the
anti-segregation movement.” “But we can have Rosa Parks
as the face of this movement,” so, it’s at that time
that Rosa Parks sits down in the white section of the bus
and gets taken off to jail, but she had to act like,
“Oh, I was just tired. Aren’t I not threatening
white people?” Then, white people were like,
“Oh, she’s just tired. We’re eating this up.” Our story starts in Arkansas. Little Rock, to be specific.
It’s 1957. The Supreme Court has just ruled
in the case of Brown versus the Board of Education
that separate is not equal, so their local NAACP went out
to the black community and found nine kids to go
to Central High School, the premier high school
in Little Rock, Arkansas. These kids are like,
“We are the Little Rock Nine. We are fucking nine visions
of black excellence. We will go to school,
and we’ll change the world. It’ll be great.” Then, the governor of Arkansas,
Orval Faubus, finds out that these kids
are planning to integrate, and this bitch,
Orval Fartbus … You can fart all you want
on the Fartbus. Anyway, Orval Fartbus was like,
“Hey, if these kids integrate, the streets will run red
with blood.” Orval Fartbus is a bitch, so, then, the kids
show up to school on September 4th, 1957,
the first day of school. The senior in the group
of the Little Rock Nine is Ernest Green, and he is like,
“Oh, my gosh. There is an ass load
of angry white people.” This angry white mob was like, “We don’t like you.
You need to go away. We are going to beat you up
and hang you from a tree.” This is not funny. Meanwhile, on the other side
of school, Elizabeth Eckford, the ninth
of the Little Rock Nine is like, “Oh, fuck.
I’m here all by myself. Oh, my God, there’s a huge mob
of white people. This is terrifying.” They’re yelling,
and they have signs, and they’re shouting shit. They are like,
“Hey, you’re white. I mean, I’m white
and you’re black, so that means I don’t like you.” She gathers herself,
and this girl is G’d up, fucking face is stone cold
and walking through these people who want to pick her up
and break her in two, just walking through like a G, and she sees the Arkansas
National Guard. “They must be here to help me,”
she thinks. She quickens her pace,
and she goes, “Hey, these white people
are trying to kill me. Please save me.”
They blocked her entrance. They are letting other white
students in, and she’s like, “What is the deal? You are
the National fucking Guard. If anybody needs to be guarded,
it’s me here now.” She leaves school.
She sits down at the bus stop, and the white people
are surrounding her, and they’re like,
“Uh, we don’t like you. You are poopy.” She waits several minutes
for the bus. The bus pulls up, and she’s like, “Thank God,
I can finally get out of here. This isn’t the last I will see
of you but also fucking fuck. Can I just get
a fucking education?” Dr. King is using the 16th
Street Baptist Church to try to organize protests.
Martin Luther King came in like, “For real though, it’s time
for us to do something,” and the adults were like, “Listen, it’s not that
we don’t agree with you but at the end of the day, I still have to put food
on table and pay the rent in this hoe, and I don’t want them
burning crosses on my lawn or any shit like that so …” like, “Bitch, it’s not
fucking safe. We can’t do this.” Dr. King was like, “If we can’t
enact change in Birmingham, we can’t do it anywhere. Who can join in the protest
and get arrested with us?” He was wort of shocked to see
Gwendolyn Sanders and her sisters get up and say,
“You know what, we’ll do it. We will do something
about this,” and then more and more kids
stood up to volunteer. They decided to mobilize,
so that’s exactly what they did. They went back to school like, “Listen, we know
you all is sick of the racism and there’s something
we can actually do about it.” On May 2nd,
the protest went down. Administrators started
locking the doors to keep them from getting out, and kids would just straight up
jump out the window like, “Bitch, you’re not
going to keep us here.” Over 1,000 kids left school
to go to Kelly Ingram Park to protest,
but then Bull Connor, head of the Birmingham
Police Department was like, “Okay, well, all those
black asses can go to jail.” They started carting these kids
off by the dozens, and over 1,000 kids
were arrested on that first day, which is insane. After a few days of protests, the Birmingham Jail were
totally overcrowded, and so as more kids
are arrested, others come back out
to take up their place, but on May 5th, that was
when shit got really real. Bull Connor was looking
at hundreds of black kids standing up to his bullshit. He’s like,
“Let’s bring out the hoses.” These are high-pressure, knock
you the fuck out water hoses, but the kids realized
there’s strength in numbers, and togetherness matters,
so those kids linked hands and said, “Not today, bitch.
Not today.” Bull Connor decides,
“Oh, okay. Release the K9 units so that the dogs can …
these kids up. Excuse me.” At this point, there were
news crews there that caught
the entire situation on camera, and these are now
some of the most infamous shots of the Civil Rights Movement. After people saw children
on international TV being sprayed with hoses
and attacked by dogs, a mind shift occurred, and after
eight solid days of protests, President Kennedy felt motivated
to come out and say, “You know what,
I didn’t want to say it before because of the southern white
voters but them mother … are racists,
so it’s time to just be real. The shit that you are
going out here and doing to people in my name
is not the … okay.” Man, I love drinking.
How come I don’t do this more? Anyway, who was I talking about?
The kids. Yeah, yeah. After the success
of the Birmingham Children’s March, Dr. King
decided to ride that momentum, and he gave his
I have a Dream speech. Bull Connor was fired,
and the Civil Rights Act was passed within a year
of all that, so it was monumental
that Gwendolyn Sanders and these kids were willing
to say, “This is not a … game, and you won’t treat us
and our people this way because we’re here
and this is what’s going on, and it’s time for us
to stand up too.” I don’t have to worry
about that sort of thing the way those kids even did
or their parents even did. I don’t take that for granted. Cheers to the kids. Cheers to the kids.

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