How the Myth of a Liberal North Erases a Long History of White Violence

By Christy Clark-Pujara and Anna-Lisa Cox SMITHSONIANMAG.COM AUGUST 27, 2020

In 1834 there were even more riots against African Americans, most notably in New Haven, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and New York City. The mayor of New York allowed the destruction of African American homes and businesses to continue for days before finally calling out the state militia. This violence was not against buildings alone, but was accompanied by atrocities against African Americans, including rape and castration. This physical destruction of African American neighborhoods followed by the stealing of African Americans’ rights was a double-edged violence, and it was not unique to Pennsylvania. Back in 1833 in Canterbury, Connecticut, the girls managed to escape their school when it was set on fire, but soon all African Americans in Connecticut were made to suffer. White lawyers and politicians in Connecticut saw to that. A lawsuit brought against Prudence Crandall, director of the school, resulted in the highest court in Connecticut deciding that people of color, enslaved or free, were not citizens of the United States. White people could now pass any racist laws they pleased, including one making it illegal for any person of African descent to enter the state of Connecticut to be educated there. Read HERE.

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