Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation's Capital

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation's Capital

Article excerpt

Quigley, Joan. Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation's Capital. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp.368, ISBN: 0199371512.

In January of 1950, Mary Church Terrell, an 86-year-old charter member of the NAACP, headed into Thompson's Restaurant, just a few blocks from the White House, and requested to be served. She and her companions were informed by the manager that they could not eat in his establishment, because they were "colored." Terrell, a former suffragette and one of the country's first college-educated African American women, took the matter to court. Three years later, the Supreme Court vindicated her outrage: District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc. was decided in June 1953, invalidating the segregation of restaurants and cafes in the nation's capital.

This book recounts an untold chapter of the civil rights movement: an epic battle to topple segregation in Washington, the symbolic home of American democracy, at the book's heart is the formidable Mary Church Terrell and the test case she mounts seeking to enforce Reconstruction-era laws prohibiting segregation in D. …

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