By Maria Fleming

Inspiring and real, a spot on the desk chronicles the lives of yankee freedom warring parties whose tales are little-known, yet whose efforts have lead the way for equality and justice within the face of utmost prejudice. Unsung heroes and their courageous deeds, resembling condominium slave Elizabeth Freeman's momentous courtroom conflict profitable her freedom, suffragette Sara Bard Field's cross-country trip for women's rights, and Nisqually Indian Billy Frank Jr.'s struggle for local American land rights, toppled obstacles in schooling, balloting, employment, housing, and different parts of discrimination. A rousing background of yank champions of justice, a spot on the desk is stuffed with women and men who, while instructed by means of society to "stay of their place," insisted that "their position" used to be on the American desk as full-fledged members in democracy.

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Sample text

Congressman from Pennsylvania, devoted his life to fighting slavery and all forms of racial oppression, including segregation. Before his death in 1868, he chose a burial site in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in a small, remote cemetery that did not subscribe to the dictates of segregation. He made arrangements that his tombstone bear the following inscription so that he might continue to spread the message of racial justice, even after his death: I repose in this quiet and secluded spot Not from any natural preference for solitude But, finding other Cemeteries limited as to Race by Charter Rules, I have chosen this that 1 might illustrate in my death The Principles which I advocated Through a long life EQUALITY OF MAN BEFORE HIS CREATOR.

Before long, a cluster of white drivers surrounded the three black men and began kicking them and shouting racial slurs. Then they dragged them off the trolley into the street. The rough treatment of the men awakened the crowd in front of the chapel from its silence. Some 36 4- A Place at the Table (Above) Louisville's trolley lines were the setting for one of the South's earliest protests against segregated transportation. (Right) The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, organized in 1925, was the first successful black trade union.

The old Southern social order, built on the bedrock of slavery, had suddenly crumbled. Many whites panicked. They could not envision a society where former slaves had the same rights they did. Southern legislatures quickly introduced laws, known as Black Codes, that set limits on African Americans' freedom. Under these codes, which varied from state to state, blacks couldn't own or rent farmland; they could be imprisoned for assembling in public, using insulting language or not having a job; and they could be whipped by white employers.

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