Coming January 2: Streetcar to Justice

"Streetcar" Selected by Junior Library Guild for Next Season; Book Earns Starred Review from Publisher's Weekly

I'm delighted to share the news that my next book, Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York, was called "a book that belongs in any civil rights library collection" by Publisher's Weekly magazine in a starred review on October 16. The book is also a Junior Library Guild selection. And, Booklist had this to say about it:
[A] gem of a story...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.

Streetcar to Justice tells the all-but-forgotten story of Elizabeth Jennings, a black schoolteacher who refused to leave a segregated streetcar in Manhattan in 1854, setting into motion a historic court case in New York City. I have been researching this important, overlooked story for many years, and I am thrilled that it will be published January 2, 2018 by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. This is my first book for middle-grade (and up) readers. It can be pre-ordered from your favorite independent bookstore or an online bookstore such as Pre-order links are on this page at right.

A Little Background...

With the Delany Sisters (Sadie at left, Bessie at right) at their home in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. in 1992. (Photo by Blair A. Hearth)
I'm a Peabody Award-winning journalist and New York Times Bestselling Author whose expertise includes women's history, forgotten stories, and elder wisdom. HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Random House, and Doubleday are among the publishers of my nonfiction books. I am also the author of the two "Miss Dreamsville" historical novels published by Simon & Schuster.

I began my career in 1981 as a newspaper reporter. In 1991, I met and interviewed a pair of then-unknown and reclusive centenarian sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delany, the daughters of a man born into slavery in the South. I wrote a feature story about the sisters for The New York Times. A book publisher read my story and contacted me, asking if I would consider writing a book. The Delany Sisters and I worked together for almost two years to create the book, an oral history which we called Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years. The book was a blockbuster bestseller. It was adapted to the Broadway stage and for an award-winning film.

The Delany Sisters are both gone now but their legacy lives on. The sisters left me in charge of the book and thus I am the go-to person when it comes to the book, photographs, their story, and their place in history. If you can't find my original New York Times story on the Delany Sisters, let me know and I will send it to you. If you have a question, just ask. More information about the Delany Sisters can be found on this site by clicking "Books" in the main menu, then "Having Our Say." Again, any questions, feel free to ask!

My other nonfiction books include the story of a pair of married Holocaust survivors who worked for the Underground during World War Two and a rare oral history of a female Native American Elder named Strong Medicine.

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