Daisy Myers, a longtime York County resident, penned this autobiography, published by the York County History Center. She has been referred to as the "Rosa Parks of the North."
Resources to learn about black history, culture in York County, Pa.
A news reporter asked me the other day about availability of books and other resources that explore York County’s Black history. I prepared this working list of some resources to check out.
Here it is for now, and I’ll be adding to it:
- Jeff Kirkland’s works: http://yorkblackhistory.com/page/2/. Also, York African-American Historical Society: https://www.facebook.com/yorksblackhistory/.
- Goodridge Freedom Center is a museum that explores diversity in this 19th-century home of Underground Railroad operator William C. Goodridge. For example, this center hosts a replica of the photo studio used by one of Goodridge’s son, Glenalvin Goodridge: https://www.facebook.com/goodridgefreedomcenter/.
- Friends of Lebanon Cemetery in North York. This group researches and tells stories about the often-forgotten residents buried there: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOLC/.
- Daisy Myers’ autobiography “Sticks and Stones”: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12847011-sticks-n-stones.
- Amanda Berry Smith’s autobiography, the story of a York County freedman’s daughter who became nationally known evangelist.
- Scott Mingus’ Underground Railroad book – “The Ground Swallows Them Up.” – https://shop.yorkhistorycenter.org/The-Ground-Swallowed-Them-Up-p/op0018.htm
- James McClure’s “Almost Forgotten.” https://www.amazon.com/Almost-Forgotten-Glimpse-History-County/dp/0971041636. Also, see the Black history category of McClure’s York Town Square blog https://yorkblog.com/yorktownsquare/category/black-history/. Also, this York Town Square Black history page.
- John J. Jezierski’s book at Goodridge family, “Enterprising Images”: https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/enterprising-images.
- Codorus Murders, podcast currently exploring York race riots: https://open.spotify.com/show/1wWDvlX4BiMQTey66i33Xh.rk.
- Journals of York County Heritage, York County History Center: https://pubhtml5.com/bookcase/wxuf. For example, see David Latzko’s article on enslaved people in York County in the late-1700s in the 2019 journal. Also, York County History Center archives document files (Files #630, #30003) and digital offerings: https://www.yorkhistorycenter.org/library/special-collections.
- Ophelia Chambliss’ “Casting Shadows,” exhibit at Center for Community Engagement, now a virtual exhibit: https://www.ydr.com/picture-gallery/news/history/blogs/york-town-square/2018/09/22/ophelia-chambliss-artist-casting-shadows-exhibit-york-pa/1382408002/. The York College-run center serves as a venue for diverse art exhibits. Most recently, Richard Craighead and Shelby Elaine’s photos have been exhibited: “Assemblage: A Photographic Representation of Black Togetherness.”
- Crispus Attucks Community Association’s South Duke Street center has a large collection of African-American art and artifacts on display. Here’s a video tour.
- York Daily Record series of newspaper special sections on key figures in York County’s Black history: York County History Center Archives.
- Bryan Wade’s Facebook group, “Keystones, The African American Experience”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/291414927953050/. Also this producer’s upcoming “Keystones,” series, with curriculum, on Black military veterans: https://www.facebook.com/groups/retroyork/permalink/3013384098747748/.
- Chip Dalton’s “Heritage News” Facebook group.
- Wm. Lee Smallwood’s “York’s 250th Celebration, 1741-1991, African Americans of Note.” Available in York County History Center’s archives.
- Jim Kalish’s “The Story of Civil Rights in York”.
- Peter Levy’s “The Great Uprising, Race Riots in Urban America During the 1960s.” This York College of Pennsylvania professor gives an overview of this book in this YCP speech.
- Retro York and Pennsylvania in the Civil War Facebook groups are intentional about inclusion of posts relating to Black history.
- George Shumway’s “York Charrette,” a report on the landmark community problem-solving event in 1970.
- Voni B. Grimes’ “Bridging Troubled Waters,” the autobiography from the pen of this late iconic community figure.
- York Race riots: James McClure’s “write-thru” of the buildup to the revolts, the unrests, the Charrette and the trials 30 years later: York’s race riots were a war that left dozens injured and two people dead. Also, McClure’s story contains many links to stories about the race riots and racial discrimination in York County: Where do you go for the best source about the York race riots and trials?
- Kim Strong’s longform narratives about the riots-era deaths of Lillie Belle Allen – “Silent No More” and “Henry C. Schaad” – “As He Lay Dying.”
- The YDR’s published three reports from urban consultant David Rusk exploring the concentration of poverty and other issues in York County: Rusk 1.0 (1996); Rusk 2.0 (2002) and Rusk 3.0 (multiple articles linked from this story, 2019).
- This YDR site section hosts scores of stories about the race riots, racial discrimination and race relations in York County, focusing on the past 60 years.
- James McClure’s YDR story: “Redlining in York: How government policies kept African Americans poor and segregated.”
- Black History page on York Town Square blog contains many links to York County black history resources.
Check out the York Town Square York Latino history page.
If there are other resources to consider for this list, please contact me: email@example.com.