One Author's Life: A Personal Blog

Middle-Grade Readers Captivated by the “Yuck” Factor

June 19, 2018

Tags: Streetcar to Justice, Elizabeth Jennings, Rosa Parks, middle grade readers, conditions of Old New York

If you think Manhattan is dirty now, consider what it was like in 1854. That was the year Elizabeth Jennings, the Rosa Parks of New York, had her fateful encounter on a segregated streetcar, as I wrote in my book Streetcar to Justice, the first biography of the all-but-forgotten civil rights hero.

Dirt roads that reverted to marshland every time it rained, no sanitary sewer system, tons of horse manure (and even the occasional dead horse), packs of stray dogs and wild hogs (more…)