Download Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American by Blair L. M. Kelley PDF

By Blair L. M. Kelley

Via a reexamination of the earliest struggles opposed to Jim Crow, Blair Kelley exposes the fullness of African American efforts to withstand the passage of segregation legislation dividing trains and streetcars via race within the early Jim Crow period. Right to Ride chronicles the litigation and native organizing opposed to segregated rails that ended in the Plessy v. Ferguson determination in 1896 and the streetcar boycott flow waged in twenty-five southern towns from 1900 to 1907. Kelley tells the tales of the courageous yet little-known women and men who confronted down the violence of lynching and concrete race riots to contest segregation.

Focusing on 3 key cities--New Orleans, Richmond, and Savannah--Kelley explores the group companies that sure protestors jointly and the divisions of sophistication, gender, and ambition that usually drove them aside. The ebook forces a reassessment of the timelines of the black freedom fight, revealing interval as soon as pushed aside because the age of lodging should still actually be characterised as a part of a heritage of protest and resistance.

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Extra resources for Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

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S. ≤≠ Citing a New York state law that made common carriers liable for the actions of their employees, Arthur insisted that the employees had overstepped the bounds of custom by assaulting Jennings. Arthur asked that she be awarded damages of five hundred dollars and court costs. The Tribune reported that Judge William Rockwell charged the jury forcefully, informing them, ‘‘The Company was liable for the acts of their agents, whether committed carelessly and negligently, or willfully and maliciously.

The witness went on to explain that the ladies’ car was open to ‘‘ ‘vermin-dropping beggars,’ low rowdies, the worst characters with white skin,’’ and even dogs but remained forbidden to all black men. ’’ The writer reminded readers that black passengers su√ered discrimination on all forms of transportation in the city: ‘‘Dr. Pennington cannot ride in a car or in an omnibus, in this City, unless the driver will condescend to let him sit or stand by his side. How long will the citizens of this great and noble City allow such men .

Over the next few months, a cadre of black men led by Thomas Jennings and the Reverend James W. C. Pennington, pastor of the First Colored Presbyterian Church (later renamed Shiloh), organized the Legal Rights Association and continued to challenge segregation and exclusion on public conveyances around the city. Pennington was an established antislavery advocate and saw the fight against segregated conveyances as crucial in the quest for full citizenship. Pennington was an escaped slave who became a leading educator, abolitionist, and Presbyterian minister.

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