” Noire “, sur France 4: Tania de Montaigne remet en scène l’héroïne oubliée Claudette Colvin

The author returns to the little -known life of the 15 -year -old Afro teenager who refused to give up her place in a white on the bus, in March 1955, in Alabama. Nine months before Rosa Parks. A story lesson up to women.

by Sandrine Blanchard

Listen to Tania de Montaigne to retrace the destiny of Claudette Colvin, it is to dive into segregationist America of the 1950s is to put herself in the shoes of a young black girl from the Alabama who will write the history. On March 2, 1955, in Montgomery, this 15 -year -old teenager, poor and believing, refused to give up her place to a white woman on the bus that brings her back from the school. Defying the laws Jim Crow which impose the separation of blacks and whites, in particular in public transport, Claudette Colvin is arrested by the police.

In a captivating show -captured here at the Courbevoie event center, in January 2021 -, the writer unfolds the history of this 15 -year -old adolescent girl and the fight of the African -American community for civil rights. Black, adaptation of black biography. The unknown life of Claudette Colvin (Grasset, 2015), written by Tania de Montaigne and awarded in 2015 of the Simone-Veil Prize, is a form of documentary theater which is easily looked at on screen. This is not a conference, but a story intelligently staged by Stéphane Foenkinos and tremendously told by Tania de Montaigne, who agreed to go on stage to seize her own text.

Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King

And what a text! Precise, enlightening, exciting. “Follow my voice, just my voice …” We adhere without hesitation to his invitation, as seized by the life of her unjustly forgotten heroine. Why did posterity have retained the name of Rosa Parks-who, on 1 er December 1955, will also refuse to give way to a white and become a figure in the fight against Racial segregation – and not that of Claudette Colvin?

With rectitude, Tania de Montaigne makes us live what being black and woman meant in America postclavagist. In a sober and eloquent voice, she intertwines the destinies of Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks. In this year 1955, a young pastor then little known, Martin Luther King, will engage in the boycott of the Bus of Montgomery, founding episode in the fight for civil rights. It was not until November 1956 that the Supreme Court judges this segregation in public transport.

Throughout this account that is both intimate, historical, political and social resound the voices of great black singers, from Billie Holiday to Nina Simone. The tray is embellished with large panels on which extracts of concerts, films and symbolic places of the 1950s are projected. And, of course, the face of the young Claudette Colvin.

This woman with incredible fate is 83 years old today. With Black, Tania de Montaigne pays her a very beautiful tribute, gives a story lesson to the height of women and takes us to travel without failing in the fight of this African-American who remained in the shadows. “When I look at you, I tell myself that you had to be someone to be the one who was not Rosa Parks,” concludes the writer, leaving the scene.