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Prudence Crandall’s Legacy

The Fight for Equality in the 1830s, Dred Scott, and Brown v. Board of Education


“The doors that opened to schoolchildren all over America in the 1950s and 1960s were in a sense opened with a key supplied by Crandall … [Williams] relates that it was the arguments of Crandall’s attorneys in one of her trials that made it clear that black Americans were citizens—that they could cross state borders to go to Crandall’s school, if they wished. And referring specifically to these arguments in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case helped NAACP lawyers win their own argument that African-Americans were entitled to go to the same schools as whites—not ‘separate but equal’ schools.”—Steve Courtney, Hartford Courant

“A study of an abolitionist schoolteacher whose efforts to integrate her Canterbury, Connecticut school led to a court case that played a key role in the two landmark Supreme Court decisions.”—The Chronicle of Higher Education

“The dramatis personae of this book are incredible—nearly all the leading abolitionists, but especially Crandall’s ally, William Lloyd Garrison, play important roles. … A must for all libraries.”—P. Harvey, Choice

“In fine fashion, Williams captures Prudence Crandall’s depth of conviction, her humility, and the legacy of freedom for everyone.”—Elizabeth Hohl, Connecticut History Review

“The book offers substantive and well-rounded portraits of abolitionists, colonizationists, and opponents of black equality—portraits that really dig beneath the surface to explain the individuals’ motivations, weaknesses, politics, and life paths. In that vein, Williams successfully humanizes all of these characters.”—Nikki Taylor, The New England Quarterly


"With Prudence Crandall's Legacy, Donald Williams offers a compelling and lively look at the long struggle for black equality in America. Taking readers from Connecticut schoolrooms to the highest court in the land, he gives us heroes and villains, triumph and tragedy, equity and injustice on the rough road to full freedom. In the end, Williams reminds readers that abolitionism was America's first civil rights movement and that race reformers like Prudence Crandall struggled mightily to overcome prejudice in the North as well as South."—Richard S. Newman, author of Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church and the Black Founding Fathers

"Donald Williams has authored what will become the authoritative history of Prudence Crandall and her controversial academy. Through a lively and carefully researched narrative, Williams richly intertwines the life of Crandall with other key protagonists of the struggle for abolition and black equality to show how Crandall's courageous stand in Canterbury and her persisting dedication to conscience and human freedom helped shape the struggle for black equality into the Civil War and beyond."—Peter P. Hinks, author of To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren: David Walker and the Problem of Antebellum Slave Resistance

"Donald Williams's book about Prudence Crandall's legacy serves to remind us once more about how close in time America is to the darkest days of our history. I refer to a time when as a matter of law the government lawfully separated school children from one another on the basis of their color. That is all behind us now as a matter of law. Thanks to Prdence Crandall's Legacy we should be reminded that such barbarous practices survived into the twentieth century until held unconstitutional in Brown v. Board Education. The struggle in which Prudence Crandall engaged continues in the twenty-first."—Attorney Jack Greenberg, professor at the Columbia School of Law. As counsel for the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, Greenberg helped argue Brown v. Board of Education, and defended Martin Luther King in Birmingham, Alabama.

"I applaud Donald Williams for this painstakingly researched, thought-provoking, and illuminating book."—Marilyn Nelson, co-author, with Elizabeth Alexander, of Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color

9780819574701 : prudence-crandall-s-legacy-williams
476 Pages
$35.00 USD
9780819576460 : prudence-crandall-s-legacy-williams
Paperback / softback
476 Pages
$26.95 USD
9780819574718 : prudence-crandall-s-legacy-williams
Electronic book text
476 Pages
$21.99 USD

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