‘Stony the Road’ is essential reading in the struggle for justice

A review of Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s examination of the ongoing African American struggle for justice.

Sense of Decency


The abolition of slavery in 1865 through the 13th amendment, together with the 14th amendment (citizenship for all people born in the U.S. including formerly enslaved people) and the 15th amendment (the right of citizens to vote) ratified soon thereafter, supposedly laid the foundation for racial equality in the United States. If this is true, then why is it that, a century later in the mid-1960s, the struggle for civil rights began almost as if it were starting from scratch?

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an American literary critic, professor, historian and filmmaker. He is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Photo credit: Stephanie Berger.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. answers this question in “Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow.” Gates sheds light on how the institutions…

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