1858 – She refused to give up her seat or ride in the “colored” section of a segregated trolley car in Philadelphia (100 years before Rosa Parks) and wrote one her most famous poems, “Bury Me In A Free Land,” when she got very sick while on a lecturing tour. Her short story “The Two Offers” became the first short story to be published by an African American.
Viola Davis Desmond (1914 –1965) was an Black Nova Scotian who was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada. The gov't of Nova Scotia also apologized for convicting her for tax evasion, when, in fact, she was resisting a "whites only" discrimination policy in a movie theatre in 1946. Desmond's story was one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history. Desmond acted 9 yrs before the famed incident by civil-rights activist Rosa Parks.
101 years before Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin, an African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings refused to be removed from a New York City trolley. Her case in the Brooklyn Circuit Court led to the desegregation of all NYC trolley lines. Her attorney? Future president Chester A. Arthur