Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York

Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York Review

Amy Hill Hearth uncovers the story of a little-known figure in U.S. history in this 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.

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.

Title:Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4.5 STARS(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS)(Review Not on Blog)What a fabulous book for children and adults. Before Rosa Parks there was Elizabeth Jennings trying to win the right to ride ...

  • Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusOne hundred years before Rosa Parks' experiences with segregated transportation, Elizabeth Jennings fought her own battle with the segregated streetcars in New York City. Whil...

  • Melinda

    Quick and interesting middle grade nonfiction. What makes the book particularly special, I think, is its joint focus on Jennings' story AND on how stories like hers can be virtually lost to history (a...

  • Beth Clark

    I can see why Amy Hill Hearth is a New York Times best-selling author. This book is multifaceted, containing layers of information, giving a broad picture of the history of the time and its impact on ...

  • Margie

    Before there was Rosa Parks in Alabama, there was Elizabeth Jennings in New York City. In 1854 Elizabeth wanted to get to church where she was accompanist for the choir. At the time there was a very c...

  • Sarah

    I received this through Edelweiss. This tells the story of basically unknown Elizabeth Jennings, an African American women, who challenged unfair laws in the late 1800s. When Jennings was violently fo...

  • Morgan Acevedo

    This was an informative, middle grades novel reflective of the hardships faced by African-American individuals while segregation was still quite prevalent in the United States. There were a number of ...

  • Elizabeth

    I appreciate learning more about historical figures lost to time. I give credit that I'm reading an uncorrected proof, so the grammatical errors and blank captions are understandable. But I'm baffled ...

  • Yvette

    Amy Hill Hearth brings to life this little-known story of a fascinating, historical figure. The tale of how Elizabeth Jennings stood firm against racial injustice and discrimination takes place one hu...

  • Stephanie Tournas

    I'm glad to learn about Elizabeth Jennings and her lawsuit against the New York streetcar company that forcibly and violently cast her off of a streetcar in 1854. Sadly, the writing is dry and the sto...