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Jim Crow NorthThe Struggle for Equal Rights in Antebellum New England$
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Richard Archer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190676643.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 10 May 2021

Inching Ahead

Inching Ahead

(p.189) 12 Inching Ahead
Jim Crow North

Richard Archer

Oxford University Press

People of African descent in Boston continued to struggle for school integration in their city, despite stiff opposition from many in the white community. Their task was made more difficult because of splits within their own ranks. A majority of black Bostonians wanted to end segregation in all the city schools, but a vocal minority advocated keeping the black public schools while integrating the rest. Nonetheless, in 1855 the state legislature passed a law integrating all of the commonwealth's schools. Inadvertently, the bullying tactics of the South made the difference. The Fugitive Slave Law combined with the Kansas-Nebraska Act convinced many New Englanders that there was a Slave Power subverting their values and even their way of life. The Bay State's success inspired African Americans in southern New England to work for integration, particularly in Providence, Rhode Island.

Keywords:   Boston, school segregation, Benjamin Roberts, William Cooper Nell, desegregation

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