Who is Sarah Keys Evans?

Sarah Keys Evans: A Trailblazer in the Fight Against Segregation

Sarah Louise Keys Evans, born in Washington, North Carolina, in either 1928 or 1929, emerged as a prominent figure in the civil rights movement in the United States. Her life’s journey, marked by courage and resilience, played a pivotal role in challenging racial segregation.

Early Life and Military Service

Born in the late 1920s or early 1929, Sarah Louise Keys grew up in Washington, North Carolina, a place that would become the backdrop for her remarkable journey. As an African American Army veteran, she served her country with distinction. Her military service provided a platform for her to later stand against racial injustice.

The Keys v. Carolina Coach Co. Case

Sarah Keys gained national prominence through her courageous stand against racial segregation on public transportation. The pivotal moment came with her involvement in the Keys v. Carolina Coach Co. case, which unfolded in 1955.

This landmark case, resolved in her favor by the Interstate Commerce Commission, played a crucial role in dismantling segregation practices on public buses.

Marriage and Family Life

In 1958, Sarah Keys married George Evans, marking a significant personal chapter in her life. Despite the challenges she faced in the public arena, her marriage contributed to a strong support system. Her ability to balance her personal and public life showcased her resilience and determination.

Community and Faith

Sarah Keys Evans was not only a civil rights activist but also a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York. Her faith and community involvement added depth to her character, highlighting the importance of interconnectedness and solidarity in the pursuit of justice.

Legacy and Passing

Sarah Keys Evans passed away on November 16, 2023, at the age of 94. Her legacy lives on as a symbol of courage and determination in the face of adversity. The recognition she received during her lifetime, including the consideration for the Congressional Gold Medal, underscores the lasting impact of her contributions to the civil rights movement.