Sarah's Long Walk

How the Free Blacks of Boston and Their Struggle for Equality Changed America

By Stephen Kendrick; Paul Kendrick
(Beacon Press, Hardcover, 9780807050187, 320pp.)

Publication Date: February 2005

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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The never-before-told story of the African-American child who started the fight for desegregation in America's public schools
One fall day in 1848, on windswept Beacon Hill in Boston, a five-year-old girl named Sarah Roberts walked past five white schools to attend the poor and densely crowded all-black Abiel Smith School. Incensed that his daughter had been turned away at each white school, Benjamin Roberts resolved to sue the city of Boston on her behalf.
Thus began what would be a more than one-hundred-year struggle that culminated in 1954 with the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education to desegregate America's schools. Today, few have heard of the Roberts case or of the black abolitionist printer whose love for his daughter started it all, but now, with Sarah's Long Walk, readers can learn about one black community's heroic struggle for equality.
Sarah's Long Walk recovers the stories of white and black Boston; of Beacon Hill in the nineteenth century; of twenty-four-year-old Robert Morris, the black lawyer who tried the case; and of all the people who participated in this early struggle to desegregate Boston's schools.
Stephen Kendrick and his son, Paul, have told Sarah's story--previously a mere footnote in the history books--with color and imagination, bringing out the human side of this very important struggle. Sarah's Long Walk is popular history at its best.
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