PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two local authors have written a new book on America’s first civil rights movement in the 19th century. The two authors spoke to employees of PNC Bank at a Black History Month event this week.

While a reenactor tells the story of Octavius Valentine Catto —  a 19th century Philadelphia activist, educator, soldier, and baseball star — author Dan Biddle and Murray Dubin talked about their new book, Tasting Freedom, which started out as a Catto biography but became something much bigger.

“Most modern Americans don’t know that there was a fully involved civil rights movement back then and with this book, we intend to change that,” Biddle said.

“I mean, this isn’t black history, this is American history,” Durbin said.

This is the seventh year PNC Bank has held black history month events for its employees.  Bill Mills is regional president.

“The emails and letters that I get literally touch my heart.”

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio

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