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Sarah's Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America
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Sarah's Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  19 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In 1847, a five-year-old African American girl named Sarah Roberts was forced to walk past five white schools to attend the poor and densely crowded all-black Abiel Smith School on Boston's Beacon Hill. Incensed that his daughter had been turned away at each white school, her father, Benjamin, sued the city of Boston on her behalf. The historic case that followed set the s ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Beacon Press (first published 2004)
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Kathy
Jun 20, 2016 Kathy rated it it was ok
Quotable:
This Revolutionary War generation chose to realize commonalities instead of racial differences. Crispus Attuck’s role in the Boston Massacre was often pointed to as the best example of shared class frustration vented by interracial groups at a common oppressor. In 1783 the Massachusetts Supreme Court abolished slavery, claiming it was clearly incompatible with the new state constitution of 1780… In fact, the economic climate of the northern states was inhospitable to the “peculiar Insti
...more
M. Fenn
Sep 29, 2012 M. Fenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's fascinating and a good read, focusing on the case of Sarah Roberts, who was forced to attend an all-Black school in the early 19th century Boston. Her father sued the state for her right to attend a school close to her home and lost. This was the case that Lemuel Shaw (Melville's father in-law) created the concept of "separate but equal" for.

It's an inspirational read with lots to quote from. My favorites are a quote from Emerson and a quote from Robert Morris who was the first Black attorn
...more
Dawnielle
Feb 26, 2008 Dawnielle rated it really liked it
Started reading this for a work-related book club. Trying to finish it before it's due at the library! It is a very well-written, eye-opening history or free blacks living in antebellum Boston. A few revelations so far:
1. Although free, most Boston blacks were living in extreme poverty. On the surface, southern slaves had it better than their free counterparts -- slaves were able to sit in the up-scale train cars with thier owners. Free blacks had to sit in the squalid cars.
2. Boston was extreme
...more
Dee Halzack
Feb 04, 2015 Dee Halzack rated it really liked it
Fascinating story of the struggle for school equality in Boston, with quite a few surprises and pictures of people who did a lot for integration that you may never have heard of.

I highly recommend it for an understanding of race relations, demographics, and education in Boston today.
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Mar 20, 2012 Betty rated it it was amazing
Fascinating - and a "MUST" for those living in the Boston area.
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