The Shaping of Citizenship | WYPR

The Shaping of Citizenship

Jul 26, 2018

Credit Ivy Bookshop

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 her 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.