Elizabeth Jennings Graham


A horse-drawn streetcar from the New York City system, circa 1895. Inset: Elizabeth Jennings Graham. Public domain

Today’s topic is a person who is sometimes called a 19th-century Rosa Parks. When Elizabeth boarded a horse-drawn streetcar in Manhattan in 1854, a chain of events began which became an important moment in the civil rights of New York's black citizens.

If you'd like to watch the Carmen Miranda documentary mentioned in listener mail, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgM_hOeaKmI

Holly's Research:

  • Lewis, David. “Graham, Elizabeth Jennings (? -1905)” BlackPast.org. http://www.blackpast.org/aah/graham-elizabeth-jennings-1905
  • Hearth, Amy Hill. “Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York.” Greenwillow Books. 2018.
  • Bellis, Mary. "Thomas Jennings, the First African-American Patent Holder." ThoughtCo, Jun. 26, 2017, thoughtco.com/thomas-jennings-inventor-1991311.
  • HEWITT, JOHN H. “The Search for Elizabeth Jennings, Heroine of a Sunday Afternoon in New York City.” New York History, vol. 71, no. 4, 1990, pp. 386–415. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23175309.
  • Ripley, C. Peter. “Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation.” University of North Carolina Press. 2000.
  • Kelley, Blair Murphy. “ Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy V. Ferguson. University of North Carolina Press. 2010.
  • “Elizabeth Jennings Graham Biography.” Biography.com. October 20, 2015. https://www.biography.com/people/elizabeth-jennings-graham-091415

Topics in this Podcast: 19th century, black history, racism, U.S. history, not just in the south, segregation, women, biographies, court cases