BATON ROUGE, La. – Min. Betty Claiborne, was arrested in 1963 with her sister for trying to integrate a public swimming pool at the City Park pool, a social hub that had banned African-Americans in Baton Rouge. She was 77.
Family, friends and community gathered together Wednesday, Jan. 15 at noon at the at Allen Chapel AME Church to say goodbye and to honor the civil rights activist.
“She was a shining example of inspiration and passion for all of us,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s tweet read.
“Rev. Betty Claiborne was a shining example of inspiration and passion for all of us. Her sacrifice and fight for civil rights is a testament of living on purpose,” said Broome in a statement issued later.
When she was 20 years old, Claiborne was arrested when she tried to integrate the white-only City Park pool in Baton Rouge, according to an article published by the Advocate in 2015.
After her arrest, Claiborne and her sister Pearl George took their case to the Supreme Court, which ruled the segregation of recreational facilities was unconstitutional.
In 2005, former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco pardoned Claiborne as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations. Claiborne, who became a reverend, had told The Associated Press she wanted her conviction removed from her record because it was keeping her from receiving a degree in theology.