Welcome to The First Step website

In 1847, four-year-old Sarah Roberts enrolled in the Otis School, just a few blocks from her home.  Then one day, a policeman took Sarah out of her school and said she could never come back.  Ever.

The Otis School was only for white children.

Sarah must have been frightened, but her parents were angry.  And, ready to fight for change.

The First Step is the story of the Roberts family and the first time people tried to make segregated schools against the law.

The First Step will be published on January 5, 2016.  As that date approaches, this site will add more and more information about the book.  Sarah’s world.  The detective work Susan E. Goodman (that’s me!) did to uncover fascinating parts of this story.  Why E. B. Lewis said the way he illustrated this book changed the way he thought about painting. 

Sarah’s story may have taken place over 150 years ago, but integrating schools has continued to be a big issue all throughout American history.  People have different ideas of what is right and just.  That’s why we’re hosting…

This anonymous survey will give students a chance to express their thoughts and feelings about their own experiences with integration and racial relationships. To find out more about the survey, click here.