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Against the Tide is a true story that captures the fear and hardships faced by African Americans during a disturbing time in American history – the post-Reconstruction period that led to the introductions of Jim Crow laws.
Through hard work and determination, Hansford C. Bayton would ride from humble beginnings to become the captain and owner of two steamboats and two steam launches for excursions and mail delivery up and down the Rappahannock River during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Unusual for an African American, he would acquire wealth and the respect of both blacks and whites. Nevertheless, his boats were burned one by one. But with each malicious burning, and with lynchings on the rise, he would build again.
This book illuminates a time in American history when the surge of progress made by freedmen was sharply curtailed through the enactment of segregation laws and the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, Hansford C. Bayton died poor, but his story is one of dignified courage and determination when faced with overwhelming odds. Truly, he was a man who swam against the tide.
Foreword by Ambassador Andrew J. Young, Jr.
Revised 2nd edition with more photos and news articles, 140 pages.