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"One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York" by Arthur Browne
&quot;One Righteous Man:  Samuel Battle and the Shattering o

When Samuel Battle broke the color line as New York City’s first African American cop in the second decade of the twentieth century, he had to fear his racist colleagues as much as criminals. Yet, fearlessly claiming his rights, he prevailed in a four-decade odyssey that is both the story of one man’s courageous dedication to racial progress and a harbinger of the divisions between police and the people they serve that plague twenty-first-century America.

Realizing that his story was the story of race in New York across the first half of the century, Battle commissioned a biography to be written by none other than Langston Hughes, the preeminent voice of the Harlem Renaissance. But their eighty-thousand-word collaboration failed to find a publisher, and has remained unpublished since. Using Hughes’s manuscript, which is quoted liberally throughout this book, as well as his own archival research and interviews with survivors, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Arthur Browne has created an important and compelling social history of New York, revealed a fascinating episode in the life of Langston Hughes, and delivered the riveting life and times of a remarkable and unjustly forgotten man, setting Samuel Battle where he belongs in the pantheon of American civil rights pioneers.

Hardcover; 320 pages

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York by Arthur Browne
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