"Sweet Land of Liberty
is an epic, revelatory account of the abiding quest for justice in states from Illinois
to New York
, and of how the intense northern struggle differed from and was inspired by the fight down South." Thomas Sugrue's panoramic view sweeps from the 1920s to the present - more than eighty of the most decisive years in American history. He uncovers the forgotten stories of battles to open up lunch counters, beaches, and movie theaters in the North; the untold history of struggles against Jim Crow
schools in northern towns; the dramatic story of racial conflict in northern cities and suburbs; and the long and tangled histories of integration and black power.
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Jim Crow laws were designed to deny their civil rights in the South, either directly or by indirect consequences. Illinois is a large Midwestern state that holds a dominant position in transportation and agriculture. New York State grew to be most populous state in the nineteenth century as a result of its strategic position in water transportation, both oceangoing and inland.