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They Said I Couldn’t Do It: Young Black Lawyer in a White Man's World. A Novel. (Book 2 in The Freedom Series)

John Mercer Langston, orphaned at four, loves to learn. His guardian says, ‘Black boys don’t need schooling.’

Against intense opposition, John wins admission to abolitionist Oberlin College, Ohio. It’s a radical town ― one of the few institutions in the 1840s and 50s to teach blacks and women alongside white students.

Once educated, John sets out to be a lawyer. More opposition ― law schools slam their doors in his face.

But he’s a fighter. Refuses to be limited by other people’s prejudices. He’s driven to succeed, not only for himself, but also for the good of all people of color. He becomes one of the first black lawyers in America. But there’s more. He also becomes the first black ever elected by a white community to a civic position.

John and Oberlin form a great alliance. The town nurtures the young man, and he supports the townsfolk. Then, in 1858, the respectable God-fearing people of Oberlin defy the hated Fugitive Slave Act. They rescue a captured runaway slave. A David and Goliath battle of wills begins with the tiny town fighting the evil perpetrated by President Buchanan and his Federal officials. The Oberlin Rescuers, including John’s older brother Charles Langston, refuse to buckle under intense pressure. For ten months, September 1858 to July 1859, the community remains front-page news across the nation as legal battles rage.

Only by a whisker does Ohio not fire the first bullets in what will become the most dreadful bloodbath in American history—the Civil War. Yet, since then, the history of John Mercer Langston, and the story of the Oberlin Rescue, have faded into the folds of history. It’s time to honor them again.

Pre-order your copy now to discover the first thirty years of inspirational John Mercer Langston’s life. Help him take back his rightful place in American history as one of the outstanding black leaders of his century.

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Book 1

It Happened on Fifth Street: a tale of forgotten heroes (2020)

1837. America. Alf. A hidden letter. Family secrets he’s determined to uncover.

2015. Abi. A girl from his future. A forgotten tin trunk, a mystery, and a magical old coin.

Alf and Abi, family members thrown together across the centuries, pool their knowledge. It takes ages, but at last – a breakthrough. They crack the code and Alf demands to be included. He’s sworn to silence, for lives and livelihoods are in grave danger.

And then, things go bad.

Cincinnati in the 1830s and 40s was a violent place – enemies, riots, persecution of blacks and abolitionists - in this dramatic story you've got it all!

It Happened on Fifth Street is the first in the Freedom Series. Based on new research and a vivid mix of fact and fiction, it brings back to life a forgotten story about real people and real events. Meet folks who put their lives on the line, day after day, night after night. Come with Alf and Abi on a journey you’ll never forget.

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Sample first four chapters