One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York | Book Review by Cyrus Webb

Arthur Browne's portrayal of Samuel Battle reminds us of the power of one

"I am coming to believe that nothing can go farther to destroy race prejudice than the recognition of the Negro as a creator and contributor to American civilization." ~ James Weldon Johnson from ONE RIGHTEOUS MAN

This book is one of those rare finds that not only educates you about the past but gives you hope for the future.

One Righteous Man


What Arthur Brown has done in sharing the journey of Samuel Battle and the other brave men and women like him that dared to bring about change is remind us that with hard work, dedication and perseverance anything is possible. I can honestly say that I had never heard of Battle before, but his willingness to put himself out there for the common good is something I can definitely draw strength and courage from. He was not looking for the attention or the pat on the back. He just wanted to do his part. That is what makes his story and so many like him so important. They just wanted to do what they felt like was their right to do.

Even when he was faced with outright persecution and even betrayal, that didn't stop Battle from trying to move forward. He lived in interesting times, as we do today. There were those who were walking around living a lie by "passing" for white so they wouldn't have to deal with the challenges that were plaguing people of color. Individuals like Battle didn't have that option, and he was willing to keep pushing forward in spite of the obstacles.

This book reminds us that one person can make a difference and inspire others towards their own greatness, but it must begin somewhere.

Cyrus Webb is the President of Conversations Media Group, host of Conversations LIVE Radio, Conversations Magazine and Conversations Book Club. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.cyruswebbpresents.com.

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