The history of the Negro community in New Haven is as old as the city itself. The city as a whole had been almost completely transformed in three hundred years, but Negroes were, relatively, in the same relation to the larger community that they had been at its beginnings. Still a small underclass, they were in a position of total economic dependence on the white economy while remaining largely excluded from the benefits of its growth and development. Having achieved civil equality, they remained social outcasts.
The war, the enormous increase in black population in the city of the 1960’s and 70’s, and the civil rights movement of that time would provide the next chapters in the history of the New Haven Negroes, but these pages were as yet unwritten, and the future held no more than a promise of the strength that comes to those who live in hardship and survive.