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Black History Month: Mary Elizabeth Bowser

Very little is known about Mary Elizabeth Bowser, save for her contributions to the American Civil War effort. Bowser was born Mary Jane Richards, circa 1846, likely near Richmond, Virgina. She may have been a slave of Eliza Baker and John Van Lew or their extended family. She was supposedly baptized in 1846 at a […]

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Black History Month: Elizabeth Freeman

a free woman— I would. — Elizabeth Freeman” username=”forwardactionmi”] Elizabeth Freeman, also known as MumBet was the first enslaved Black person to file and win their freedom in a lawsuit in Massachusets. Freeman’s lawsuit, Brom and Bett v Ashley (1781), resulted in a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling ruling slavery unconstitutional. The court further cited her suit […]

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Black History Month: Ida B Wells

Ida B Wells was a Black journalist, suffragette and activist. In 1889, three friends of hers were killed by a lynch mob. This led Wells to begin investigating lynching from a sociological perspective, publishing her work in a pamphlet titled Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. Wells concluded that Southerners often cited “rape” or […]

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Black History Month: The Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party was a revolutionary socialist organization founded in 1966 with the intent of protecting and enriching the lives of the Black community. The BPP publicized What We Want Now!: A Ten Point Program, demanding the following: We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community. We want […]

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Black History Month: Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old Black boy shot in Florida by a white man who liked beating up women. At 9 years old Trayvon Martin saved his father’s life, by pulling him out of a fire. He was known as a shy, kind, and quiet kid, who could often be found hiding in […]

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Black History Month: Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt was an American entertainer and activist who fought for civil rights, to the detriment of her own career, and did so with no regrets and no shame. In 1968, Kitt answered a question posed to her by Lady Bird Johnson about the Vietnam war, stating The children of America are not rebelling for […]

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Black History Month: Bree Newsome

  Bree Newsome is an activist, speaker, filmmaker and musician best known for her work in climbing a flagpole and removing a confederate battle flag from the South Carolina state house grounds. Her act of civil disobedience helped push government officials to finally remove the flag from all government buildings in South Carolina. Bree Newsome […]

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Black History Month – Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks was a Black woman born in 1920 whose cervical cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, used extensively in medical research. Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951 after going to the hospital with what she described as “a knot in [her] womb.” She was initially diagnosed with […]

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Black History Month – Emmett Till

Emmett Till was a 14 year old boy lynched in 1955 after being falsely accused of flirting with 21 year old white Carolyn Bryant while in her family’s grocery store in Money, Mississippi. A few days after having visited Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market with friends, Carol Bryant’s husband Roy Bryant returned from a hunting […]

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Black History Month: Claudette Colvin

In March 2nd 1955, Claudette Colvin was a high school student attending the segregated Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery Alabama. Returning home from class on city busses, Claudette Colvin was thinking about a school paper she had written on local segregation issues within department stores. Black folk weren’t allowed to use dressing or […]