Cassandra Newby-Alexander Ph.D(Author),Mae Breckenridge-Haywood(Author),African American Historical Society of Portsmouth(Author)
Whether assisting escapes through the Underground Railroad, forming banks, publishing a newspaper, or providing recreational facilities, Portsmouth's African Americans created one of the most stable middle-class black communities in America.
African Americans in Portsmouth built a strong, insulated community because they were cognizant of the need to look inward. Early 20th-century leaders such as Dr. William Reid, Nancy T. Wheeler, and the Reverend Harvey N. Johnson Sr. were civic models and guiding forces for a community emerging from the ravages of slavery, and enduring the hardships of segregation.
Black America: Portsmouth, Virginia captures the world of an ever-changing community and a people who persevered, no matter the odds.
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