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Analysis: The Life Of Octavius Catto

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was 140 years ago when a Philadelphia man changed lives forever.

The streets of Philadelphia in the late 1800’s come to life in a riveting book, “Tasting Freedom”, about the life of Octavius Catto, a man who gave us so much to secure freedoms for blacks in the city and elsewhere.

Co-author, Pulitzer Prize winner Dan Biddle talks about how blacks could get in trouble just trying to get across town:

“Stepping onto a horse-drawn streetcar, say at 11th and Lombard Streets, and taking a seat and refusing to give up that seat, refusing even when the conductor came around and explained and every account of this the same. America’s favorite racial epithet gets used in every one of these episodes. As if the conductors and all the company employees were all reading from the same script explaining that a person of color could not ride the car.”

The book is a page turner that is a story of intrigue, murder and how the courage of one man could change a city.

Listen to extended interview:

Reported By Special Contributor Larry Kane, KYW Newsradio.