Sarah's Long Walk by Stephen Kendrick
How the Free Blacks of Boston and their Struggle for Equality Changed America

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Synopsis

The never-before-told story of the African-American child who started the fight for desegregation in America's public schools

One fall day in 1848, on windswept Beacon Hill in Boston, a five-year-old girl named Sarah Roberts walked past five white schools to attend the poor and densely crowded all-black Abiel Smith School. Incensed that his daughter had been turned away at each white school, Benjamin Roberts resolved to sue the city of Boston on her behalf.

Thus began what would be a more than one-hundred-year struggle that culminated in 1954 with the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education to desegregate America's schools. Today, few have heard of the Roberts case or of the black abolitionist printer whose love for his daughter started it all, but now, with Sarah's Long Walk, readers can learn about one black community's heroic struggle for equality.

Sarah's Long Walk recovers the stories of white and black Boston; of Beacon Hill in the nineteenth century; of twenty-four-year-old Robert Morris, the black lawyer who tried the case; and of all the people who participated in this early struggle to desegregate Boston's schools.

Stephen Kendrick and his son, Paul, have told Sarah's story—previously a mere footnote in the history books—with color and imagination, bringing out the human side of this very important struggle. Sarah's Long Walk is popular history at its best.
 

About Stephen Kendrick

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Stephen Kendrick is the author of "Holy Clues: The Gospel According to Sherlock Holmes". He is the Parish Minister of the Universalist Church of West Hartford, Connecticut, where he lives.
 
Published December 31, 2004 by Beacon Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Ferguson Supreme Court decision producing John Marshall Harlan’s prophetic lone dissent—“Our constitution is color-blind.” The Roberts family and their attorneys, however, wouldn’t quit pursuing legislation finally enacted in 1855 that outlawed segregation—though not de facto—in Massachusetts sch...

| Read Full Review of Sarah's Long Walk: How the Fr...

Publishers Weekly

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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."

Nov 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Sarah's Long Walk: How the Fr...

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