"Narrates the stories of courageous but obscure men and women who faced lynching to challenge segregation. . . . Kelley causes a reexamination of the period described by historians as the 'age of accommodation.'"
"Detailed and panoramic. . . . Kelley's must-read telling of [the protestors'] stories finally does them more indelible justice than the old, fading newspaper accounts from either side that were the only authoritative source of the story until now."
"Kelly's Right to Ride
is a well-written book that can be appreciated by both academics and a general readership….A valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn more about segregation and protest during this era."
"This excellent book is the first monographic treatment of the wave of streetcar boycotts that swept across the South at the beginning of the twentieth century to protest the advent of racial segregation on municipal trolley lines. . . . [Kelley] is to be commended for re-emphasizing these boycotts' significance."
-American Historical Review
"The first comprehensive study of the streetcar boycott movement. . . . An important contribution to our understanding of the long Civil Rights Movement and may be the first author to place its origin in the antebellum North. . . . Exceptional, clear and persuasive. . . . Compelling and fresh. This book and its arguments will be around for a long time and will be the foundations of future studies of segregation and transportation for years to come."
"The age of [Booker T.] Washington is most frequently remembered as an age of accommodation, when black people . . . cowered beneath the descending shadow of Jim Crow. . . . Blair Kelley alters our understanding of this era. . . . [Her] reassessment of the nadir encourages us to measure accomplishment with a long view, to judge first our willingness to sacrifice and refuse to denounce as cowards those who fail today so that we can win tomorrow."
"Blair L. M. Kelley's remarkable monograph is the first book on the initial black resistance to laws segregating trains and streetcars. . . . Kelley has constructed detailed case studies. . . . Gives valuable new insight into the character of the 'nadir' generation."
-Arkansas Historical Quarterly
"Within her simply, yet elegantly written work, Kelley offers a number of important insights to the fields of African American, southern, urban, and civil rights history. . . . Should be required reading for scholars and undergraduate and graduate students, but it would also be accessible and rewarding for non-academics as well."
-Virginia Magazine of History and Biography