Compelling account of the abolitionist’s life, legal battles, and legacy
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DONALD E. WILLIAMS JR., former president of the Connecticut State Senate, is the Director of Policy and Research for the Connecticut Education Association. He holds a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law and a B.S. in journalism from Syracuse University. He lives in Brooklyn, Connecticut.Review:
“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)
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