Todd M. Mealy

website of AUTHOR & HISTORIAN TODD M. MEALY

This Is the Rat Speaking


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The demise of the so-called Jim Crow laws in 1964 and 1965 and the victory of the civil rights movement rung hollow in the ears of most African Americans. While segregation was still held in practice in many places of the South, systemic forms of racism permeated Northern society. As uncertainty and distrust pervaded African American communities after 1966, the maligned Black Panther Party filled the void, especially among Baby Boomers who moved the African American liberation movement farther to the left. During this difficult time when the country was torn apart by issues of race and poverty, as well as the escalation of the war in Vietnam, unrest seemed to prevail at a myriad of colleges and universities across the United States where newly formed Afro-American Societies and Black Student Unions pressed for pedagogical change suited to the liberation doctrine coming from the Black Left. Spring 1969 was a particularly explosive semester as African American students occupied administrative buildings and common areas at both historically black and predominantly white colleges up and down the East Coast.

This Is the Rat Speaking is Todd M. Mealy’s effort at reconstructing the May 22, 1969 black student uprising at Franklin and Marshall College. Using Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Franklin and Marshall College as his setting, Mealy revisits the role and influence of the Black Panthers and delves into how activism for black studies curriculum emerged within the Black Power movement of the 1960s. Based on oral history testimony, investigation reports, and judicial records, this book will provoke discussion from different perspectives.


Aliened American: A Biography of William Howard Day, 1825 to 1865: Volume 1

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Article November 29, 2016 - "Teacher's book inspires William Howard Day Award."


William Howard Day was one of the nineteenth century's most profound civil rights heroes. During his lifetime, Day collaborated intimately with Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, David Ruggles, Henry Highland Garnet, and Martin Delany. In 1858, while living in Canada, Day was hired by John Brown to print the soon-to-be-martyr's constitution. Biographer Todd M. Mealy has taken extreme measures to unearth one of the most important studies of the civil rights movement. Based on recently undiscovered documents, especially letters, minutes, and speeches of people who worked with Day, Aliened American is the first biography of this courageous figure. Mealy has carefully recounted Day's profound record as an educator, preacher, and secretary in the A.M.E. Zion Church, newspaper publisher, and unvarnished orator for the Republican Party, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, Colored Citizens League, and the Equal Rights League - all of which ignited the civil rights movement. 


Aliened American, a 2010 Frederick Douglass Book Prize finalist, is printed in two volumes.

Aliened American: A Biography of William Howard Day, 1865 to 1900: Volume 2


This second volume covers the second half of William Howard Day's life.  From Reconstruction to the age of Imperialism, Mealy spends much of this volume describing the origins of the civil rights movement as Day leads communities in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Day's rivalry with Frederick Douglass is a major focus of the first several chapters.  As Day's life nears its end, it becomes apparent that Day left a lasting impact on the lives of Pennsylvanians.  Mealy writes a touching account of the last three years of Day's life before his death of paralysis on December 3, 1900.

Legendary Locals of Harrisburg


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Article: 9/24/14 - "Penn Manor coach releases third book" (Keith Schweigert)


Article: 9/24/14 - "Penn Manor teacher/coach releases third book"


Article - "Mealy Publishes Another Book" (Townlively)


With images taken from the archives of the Dauphin County Historical Society, as well as family collections, Legendary Locals of Harrisburg encompasses biographical tributes that celebrate the deeds of actors, musicians, artists, teachers, athletes, humanitarians, politicians, veterans, firemen, and community leaders who have added a peculiar brand of Harrisburg's rich cultural tapestry. William Howard Day, an educator, and John Harris, who established Harrisburg, are two pioneers. Edward Stackpole, of Stackpole Books, and Theophilus Fenn, editor of the Telegraph, have forged the way for the city's writers. The first secretary of homeland security, Tom Ridge, and Simon Cameron, secretary of war under Lincoln, are among world-renowned politicians who have contributed to Harrisburg's valued reputation. From rival high school football coaches to dueling business owners, from civic leaders building an integrated city to aspiring young people embarking on independent journeys to the big screen, these profiles of real lives and real heroes show us that we all have contributed to the development of our own communities.


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From the Pews: The Story of the Bethel AME Church in Harrisburg


The stories contained in "From the Pews" are organized around the six locations that Harrisburg's Bethel AME church has occupied in its history; Meadow Lane, Short Street, State Street, Briggs Street, and Sixth and Herr Streets.  Todd Mealy is one of five authors that tell the story of the AME Church in Pennsylvania's capital city. Mealy's chapter, titled "Freedom Moments," covers the origins of the church up to the year 1863, when brethren gathered to compose a public declaration in response to President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.