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

Stephen Kendrick, Author, Paul Kendrick, Author . Beacon $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8070-5018-7

Minister and novelist Stephen Kendrick (Night Watch ) collaborates with his college student son, Paul, to recount the story of Sarah Roberts, who, in 1848, at five years old, became a symbol of the plight of free blacks "forced to persevere in unjust circumstances." Because Sarah had to walk past five white-only schools to reach her school, Sarah's father, aided by African-American attorney Robert Morris, sued the city in a case whose ultimate decision established the concept of "separate but equal." The Kendricks not only tell Sarah's story but also offer a chronology of Boston's black activism, including portraits of David Walker, a Southern-born thrift store owner whose Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World galvanized blacks as Thomas Paine's Common Sense had roused white patriots, and William Nell, a former errand boy for abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison who became one of the great leaders of the fight for school equality. Most notably, the authors unearth considerable information about Robert Morris, the attorney who represented Sarah Roberts, whose name has been left out or listed incorrectly in many accounts of the court case. The authors handle the weighty issue of desegregation with skill; this is a book for historians and humanitarians. Agent, Philippa Brophy. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/15/2004
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 325 pages - 978-0-8070-5017-0
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-8070-5019-4
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