In 1892, Carrie Williams was the wife of a coal miner and pregnant with her third child. She was also the African-American teacher at the Coketon Colored School in Tucker County, West Virginia. When the county school board shortened the school term for African-American students to three months, she objected, and John Robert Clifford, the first African-American lawyer admitted to the bar in West Virginia, litigated her case. They emerged triumphant six years later with a decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. This decision provided a crucial legal precedent that arguably had an important impact in preventing further erosion of educational opportunities during the Jim Crow era. The author, Kathleen Jackson Costantini, is a teacher, administrator, counselor and consultant on educational issues including using primary source documents in history and promoting educational opportunities among the underserved. She lives in New York City.
Charleston, West Virginia: 35th Star Publishing, 2019. 213 pages with an Index, Bibliography, and photos. Trade paperback.