Cover image for Streetcar to justice : how Elizabeth Jennings won the right to ride in New York
Title:
Streetcar to justice : how Elizabeth Jennings won the right to ride in New York
ISBN:
9780062673602
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
143 pages : illustrations, map, portraits ; 24 cm
Contents:
"Those monsters in human form" -- Stray dogs and pickpockets -- A city divided by race -- "I screamed murder with all my voice" -- "You will sweat for this!" -- An admired family -- A "shameful" and "loathsome" issue -- A future U.S. president -- Elizabeth Jennings v. Third Avenue Railroad Company -- The jury's decision -- An uncanny similarity to Rosa Parks -- What happened to Elizabeth Jennings? -- How a creepy old house led to the writing of this book -- Retracing her footsteps -- Chester A. Arthur : tragedy leads to presidency.
Reading Level:
1120 L Lexile
Genre:
Summary:
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. --
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book J 921 JENNINGS 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J 921 JENNINGS 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J 921 JENNINGS 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J 921 JENNINGS 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J 921 JENNINGS 1 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

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).

An ALA Notable Book

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.


Author Notes

The author of The New York Times bestseller "Having Our Story: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years".

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hearth (The Delany Sisters Reach High) draws on her journalism roots to carefully piece together the story of a mostly forgotten figure in the struggle for racial equality in the United States. African-American schoolteacher Elizabeth Jennings vehemently fought back when she was refused streetcar service in 1854 Manhattan; her victorious court case against the streetcar company helped integrate public transportation in New York. Hearth grounds Jennings's story in vivid sensory detail: "she would have walked around piles of horse manure and maybe even the bloated remains of a dead animal or two." Fifteen chapters pack in contextualizing information, often in sidebars, educating readers on topics ranging from Jim Crow laws and de facto segregation in the north to Jennings's contemporaries Frederick Douglass and Chester Arthur (Jennings's lawyer and future U.S. president). Archival photos, newspaper clippings, and resources that include a timeline of Jennings's life (she founded the first kindergarten for black children in New York City) augment a book that belongs in any civil rights library collection. Ages 8-12. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

In 1854 New York City, an African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings was forcibly ejected from a streetcar; she sued and won her case (with future president Chester A. Arthur as her lawyer), resulting in the de facto desegregation of public transportation in the city. In order to stretch this lesser-known historical incident into a full-length book, the author pads her account with much tangential information. Occasional historical images are included. Reading list, timeline. Bib., ind. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

When Elizabeth Jennings, a young black woman on her way to church, refused to vacate a New York City streetcar and was literally torn off of it by its driver and roughed up by that driver and a police officer, there was no one around to photograph the event. Luckily, though, there were people who took up her cause for justice, including a young lawyer who went on to become a U.S. president (Chester Arthur). It was 1854, years before the Civil War and emancipation, and a century before Rosa Parks similarly stood her ground. But few people know about Jennings and how her case impacted discrimination laws in the northern city, where she lived as a free black gentlewoman. Hearth places this obscure gem of a story in context: illustrations from the era and extensive notes and references help readers follow the story. Those interested in the myriad origins of the civil rights movement will be fascinated by the case and how it galvanized the black community of its day.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2017 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Hearth sets the stage in this middle grade biography with Elizabeth Jennings hoping to arrive on time at the First Colored American Congregational Church, where she was an organist, before pulling back to explain just what New York City looked, smelled, and operated like in 1854. Weaving together historical background with a portrait of Jennings, Hearth has created a compelling account of the court case Jennings vs. Third Avenue Railroad Company-an early landmark case in desegregating New York City transit. The engaging narrative is supported by plentiful archival maps, photos, and reproductions of primary source documents, such as handwritten reports and newspaper clippings. Sidebars also provide important historical context. The back matter is impressively long-including a six-page bibliography of websites, books, newspapers, journals and reports; extensive chapter and illustration notes; and more, making this a superb mentor text. VERDICT Hearth brings the story of Elizabeth Jennings to vivid life in an eminently readable book.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Three Notes about Languagep. 1
Part I A Day like No Otherp. 3
1 "Those Monsters in Human Form"p. 5
The First New Yorkersp. 12
2 Stray Dogs and Pickpocketsp. 15
Slavery in the Northp. 22
Timeline: The End of Slavery in Northern Statesp. 24
3 A City Divided by Racep. 27
What Was Jim Crow?p. 31
4 "I Screamed Murder with All My Voice"p. 35
5 "You Will Sweat for This!"p. 37
6 An Admired Familyp. 39
Frederick Douglass and the Black Pressp. 44
Who Should Go to School?p. 46
7 A "Shameful" and "Loathsome" Issuep. 49
Trying to Make a Differencep. 55
William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberatorp. 56
Horace Greeley and the New York Daily Tribunep. 57
8 A Future U.S. Presidentp. 59
The Fugitive Slave Actp. 60
Chester A. Arthur: His Early Yearsp. 62
9 Elizabeth Jennings v. Third Avenue Railroad Companyp. 65
Getting to Brooklynp. 68
10 The Jury's Decisionp. 71
Part II A Forgotten Herop. 77
11 An Uncanny Similarity to Rosa Parksp. 79
12 What Happened to Elizabeth Jennings?p. 85
The Civil War Draft Riotsp. 86
The First Free Kindergarten for Colored Children in New York Cityp. 88
13 How a Creepy Old House Led to the Writing of This Bookp. 91
14 Retracing Her Footstepsp. 95
Postscript: Chester A. Arthur: Tragedy Leads to Presidencyp. 101
Bibliographyp. 105
Notesp. 113
Author's Note about Elizabeth Jennings's Age in 1854p. 121
Suggested Readingp. 123
Elizabeth Jennings's Life within a Historical Timelinep. 124
Important Locationsp. 127
Acknowledgmentsp. 129
Illustrationsp. 133
Indexp. 137
About the Authorp. 143