Streetcar to Justice by Amy Hill Hearth
How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York

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Hearth's book expertly gives young readers wider context for Jennings' story. She paints a picture of a much smaller New York, and notes in one of the book's numerous sidebars that slavery was practiced in the North as well as the South...
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

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). 

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.

 

About Amy Hill Hearth

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Debut novelist Amy Hill Hearth is a former journalist and the author or coauthor of seven nonfiction books, including Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years, the New York Times bestseller-turned-Broadway play. She met her future husband, Blair, who was raised in Collier County, while she was working as a reporter in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1983. She is a graduate of the University of Tampa.
 
Published January 2, 2018 by Greenwillow Books. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books.
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Reviewed by Colette Bancroft on Mar 05 2018

Hearth's book expertly gives young readers wider context for Jennings' story. She paints a picture of a much smaller New York, and notes in one of the book's numerous sidebars that slavery was practiced in the North as well as the South...

Read Full Review of Streetcar to Justice: How Eli... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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