She Refused To Sit In The Colored-Only Section

Executive board of the Women's League
Shonda Buchanan
October 21, 2020

With a knowing smile, Sarah Remond pushed open the doors of the theatre. She’d purchased her ticket like everyone else! She knew they’d be upset – but what happened when they saw her in the whites-only seating area was still a shock.

The white manager grabbed her, ordered her to leave, and “ushered” her to “colored” seating. She refused to sit! There was something about her he didn’t know.

He didn’t know Remond was a well-known abolitionist and agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society who’d given her first fiery speech at 16. Her famous abolitionist family, and especially her mother, had taught her to fight for liberty lawfully at all costs! 

Still, she didn't expect how brutal and cruel the racists would respond to her simple act.

When she refused to be seated, the manager PUSHED her down a flight of stairs! She survived and, outraged, sued the theater. Did she win?

Yes! She received $500 and the theater integrated. But the fight for equality is never done – one integrated theatre and one pay off doesn't make us equal.  

Remond helped us take great steps forward. We must continue her legacy by proudly doing what we know is our right – even when it's dangerous!

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