This book has been my favorite read of The Good and the Beautiful Library so far. Having a child with a disability, it has been eye-opening the prejudice that can exist in the world even today. Prudence Crandall’s story encourages me to persist in changing the world in my little corner, being faithful to walk through the struggle, and stand up for what is right.
It is hard to imagine that people of color were refused education for a time in our nation’s history. Loved that Prudence Crandall sought them out to teach, stand up for, and educate. She was a true heroine!
In the quiet little town of Canterbury, Connecticut, Prudence Crandall is living her dream as a teacher. She has opened her own school for young ladies and is enjoying great success from the start. Yet all of her good fortune is jeopardized when Prudence admits a young African American student named Sarah Harris. What unfurls is the true and stirring story of Prudence’s faith and courage as she combats the deep-seated prejudices of the town and offers an opportunity for a life-changing education to eager African American female students.
“The idea of having such a school is insupportable—reckless hostility—determined to thwart—property no longer safe—break down natural distinction between black and white . . . A dire calamity faces Canterbury—shall we surrender to any other nation or race?”
“No! No! No!” the people shouted, rising in a body to give their words more force.
Elizabeth Yates masterfully chronicles the efforts of the people of Canterbury to force the school’s closure through intimidation, vandalism, slander, and legal persecution, as well as Prudence’s truly courageous perseverance against such deplorable aggression. Through it all, Prudence stands a stalwart warrior of what is right and good. This story of an admirable fight for educational equality and human dignity is one that continues to inspire and uplift.
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