Citizens By Birthright | WYPR

Citizens By Birthright

Sep 18, 2018

African-Americans living free in Baltimore before the Civil War were constantly testing whether the law and courts saw them as citizens, with rights to be respected.

In a new book, "Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America," Johns Hopkins Professor Martha Jones argues the free blacks of Baltimore shaped the idea of birthright citizenship that made it into the U.S. constitution, and that their struggle still carries meaning for today’s immigrants. This interview originally aired on July 26, 2018.

Martha Jones will be speaking about her book at a panel discussion, next Wednesday, September 26th at the Maryland Historical Society.