Today I traveled to New York City by the means of two different titles… The New York Times of February 2, 1865 and the Harper’s Weekly of February 25, 1865. In the New York Times I found “J. S. Rock (Colored,) of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, was to-day, on motion of Senator Sumner, admitted an Attorney and Counselor in the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The Harper’s Weekly includes a nice illustration of “John R. Rock, Colored Counselor”. Within the article reads “…Mr. Rock is known in Boston as a first-class lawyer. This even, following two days after the passage by Congress of the proposition to amend the Constitution so as to abolish slavery in the United States, will be regarded by the future historian as a remarkable indication of the revolution which is going on in the sentiment of a great people. Mr. Rock has never been a slave. He represents the colored freeman, as Mr. Douglass represents the freeman. This extraordinary reversal of the Dred Scott decision is an act almost sublime…”
In doing further research on Mr. Rock, he is also credited with coining the phrase “black is beautiful” while giving a speech in Boston in March of 1858 as a refutation of the western idea that the physical features of African Americans were unattractive. However, further research has found that he did not say those exact words but did in essence about the beauty of the black people.