Starred reviews hail Streetcar to Justice as "a book that belongs in any civil rights library collection" (Publishers Weekly) and "completely fascinating and unique” (Kirkus).
An ALA Notable Book
Bestselling author and journalist Amy Hill Hearth uncovers the story of a little-known figure in U.S. history in this fascinating biography.
In 1854, a young African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings won a major victory against a New York City streetcar company, a first step in the process of desegregating public transportation in Manhattan.
This illuminating and important piece of the history of the fight for equal rights, illustrated with photographs and archival material from the period, will engage fans of Phillip Hoose’s Claudette Colvin and Steve Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous.
One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Elizabeth Jennings’s refusal to leave a segregated streetcar in the Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan set into motion a major court case in New York City.
On her way to church one day in July 1854, Elizabeth Jennings was refused a seat on a streetcar. When she took her seat anyway, she was bodily removed by the conductor and a nearby police officer and returned home bruised and injured. With the support of her family, the African American abolitionist community of New York, and Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Jennings took her case to court. Represented by a young lawyer named Chester A. Arthur (a future president of the United States) she was victorious, marking a major victory in the fight to desegregate New York City’s public transportation.
Amy Hill Hearth, bestselling author of Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, illuminates a lesser-known benchmark in the struggle for equality in the United States, while painting a vivid picture of the diverse Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan in the mid-1800s.
Includes sidebars, extensive illustrative material, notes, and an index.
|File size:||25 MB|
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|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
Table of Contents
Three Notes about Language 1
Part I A Day like No Other 3
1 "Those Monsters in Human Form" 5
The First New Yorkers 12
2 Stray Dogs and Pickpockets 15
Slavery in the North 22
Timeline: The End of Slavery in Northern States 24
3 A City Divided by Race 27
What Was Jim Crow? 31
4 "I Screamed Murder with All My Voice" 35
5 "You Will Sweat for This!" 37
6 An Admired Family 39
Frederick Douglass and the Black Press 44
Who Should Go to School? 46
7 A "Shameful" and "Loathsome" Issue 49
Trying to Make a Difference 55
William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberator 56
Horace Greeley and the New York Daily Tribune 57
8 A Future U.S. President 59
The Fugitive Slave Act 60
Chester A. Arthur: His Early Years 62
9 Elizabeth Jennings v. Third Avenue Railroad Company 65
Getting to Brooklyn 68
10 The Jury's Decision 71
Part II A Forgotten Hero 77
11 An Uncanny Similarity to Rosa Parks 79
12 What Happened to Elizabeth Jennings? 85
The Civil War Draft Riots 86
The First Free Kindergarten for Colored Children in New York City 88
13 How a Creepy Old House Led to the Writing of This Book 91
14 Retracing Her Footsteps 95
Postscript: Chester A. Arthur: Tragedy Leads to Presidency 101
Author's Note about Elizabeth Jennings's Age in 1854 121
Suggested Reading 123
Elizabeth Jennings's Life within a Historical Timeline 124
Important Locations 127
About the Author 143
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An intense page turner of one brave lady’s terrible experience and triumph in early New York City! A fine tribute to an almost forgotten heroine of justice!
Amy Hill Hearth brings to life this little-known story of a fascinating, historical figure. The tale of how Elizabeth Jennings stood firm against racial injustice and discrimination takes place one hundred years before Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement. Hearth includes much of her research via comprehensive notes and references. This book is a must-have for anyone, young or old, who is interested in the origins of civil rights in America.