A history of African Americans in New York City from the 1910s to 1960, told through the life of Samuel Battle, the New York Police Department's first black officer. As New York City's first African American cop, Samuel Battle had to fear his racist colleagues as much as the criminal element and to navigate the politics of Tammany Hall and of powerful mobsters. When Battle left the NYPD decades later, he was decorated and revered, having hobnobbed with the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Booker T. Washington, and dozens of other luminaries. During that time, he helped integrate the city's fire department and its armed forces Battle commissioned a biography to be written by none other than Langston Hughes, but that book has remained entirely unpublished. Using Hughes's manuscript and his own archival research, prize-winning journalist Arthur Browne has created a fascinating narrative of this unheralded figure in the fight for civil rights and a riveting account of the battle for influence in twentieth-century New York.
One Righteous Man
Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York
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