MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Join the Schools Committee of the Community Coalition on Race for a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session with the authors of “Tasting Freedom,” Daniel Biddle and Murray Dubin, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at Maplewood Memorial Library, 51 Baker St. The authors are passionate about sharing the life and times of Octavius Catto and his fight to desegregate streetcars, obtain voting rights and improve education for blacks in mid-19th-century Philadelphia.
Catto was a second baseman on Philadelphia’s best black baseball team, a teacher at the city’s finest black school, an activist who fought in the state capital and on the streets for equal rights, and an orator who shared the stage with Frederick Douglass. With his murder during an election-day race riot in 1871, the nation lost a civil rights pioneer — one who risked his life a century before the events that took place in Selma and Birmingham. “Tasting Freedom” presents the little-known stories of Catto and the men and women who struggled to change America. This book will change your understanding of civil rights history.