Thursday, November 06, 2008

Aurelia Browder

Aurelia Shines Browder Coleman (January 29, 1919-February 4, 1971) was an African American civil rights activist. In April 1955, months before the historic arrest of Rosa Parks, she was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white rider. She was the lead plaintiff in the Browder v. Gayle action lawsuit. The case eventually made its way to the United States Supreme Court, which found that bus segregation was unconstitutional.
At the time of the lawsuit, she was a housewife, but Browder had several careers throughout her life including that of a nurse mid-wife, seamstress, and business woman. She was an educated woman who earned a bachelor's degree in science with honors from Alabama State University.
Browder was affiliated with several of the civil rights groups of the era, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Montgomery Improvement Association, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

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