Benjamin W. Arnett Engraving   Save (for more information on African Americans in Ohio)
Description: This 4.25 by 5.75-inch (10.79 by 14.61 cm) engraving of Benjamin William Arnett is a reproduction of a photograph taken by L. Hunster. It appeared in Harper's Weekly on May 18, 1878, together with an article on the International Sunday School Convention in Atlanta. Arnett traveled to Georgia to represent Ohio at the convention, which was attended by delegates from Protestant denominations in every state. Its purpose was to discuss religious education for children. Arnett was refused admission to the convention because of his race. Arnett (1836-1906) was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. A teacher and bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Arnett moved to Ohio in 1867. He served as pastor and teacher at churches in Cincinnati, Toledo, Urbana, and Columbus. In 1886, as Republican representative from Greene County in the Ohio General Assembly, Arnett introduced legislation to repeal the state's "Black Laws." First enacted in 1803, Ohio's "Black Laws" limited the freedom and rights of African American residents. Arnett was particularly concerned that state law did not ensure that black children had the same educational opportunities as white children. In 1887, statues regarding education were changed; the state was thereafter required to provide equal opportunities to all children regardless of race. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om871_806451_001
Subjects: African American Ohioans; Ohio Government; Education; Civil Liberties; Religion in Ohio; Segregation--Laws and legislation;
Places: Wilberforce (Ohio); Greene County (Ohio)