Biddy Mason: The Mormon Slave That Became a Californian Treasure

Biddy Mason

TweetShareShare“Biddy” spent nearly forty years as a slave for a Mississippi slave master. She never learned to read or write. And yet she saved her midwife salary to become a wealthy Black real estate magnate…and revered philanthropist. It’s quite the story. It’s also an inspiring tale that proves it’s not how you start life that…

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Robert James Harlan: Ohio’s Political Powerhouse

Robert James Harlan

TweetShareShareRobert James Harlan (1816-1897) may have been born a slave but he lived most of his life free as a bird. And this Ohio bird could sing…and travel…and succeed. Born in Virginia on December 12, 1816. Harlan’s mother was mulatto, and his father was white. Consequently, Robert’s light-skinned complexion often helped him. As a young…

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Antoine Dubuclet, Jr.: The Creole Savior of Louisiana

Antoine Debuclet

TweetShareShare He was one of America’s wealthiest Black businessmen. As a Republican State Treasurer he saved debt-ridden Louisiana following the Civil War. But his story runs counter to many of the popular narratives in Black history today. Consequently, it’s a tale that worth telling. His name is Antoine Dubuclet, Jr. (1810-1887). He was a sugar…

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James Forten: A Liberator and Leader for Abolition

TweetShareShareHe was a wealthy Philadelphia businessman…and a leading voice for abolitionism. He was a sailmaker, author and political activist…a free black in a white world. One biographer noted he was “one of the most powerful African-American voices…he knew how to use the press and the speaker’s podium. He knew about building alliances…[and] the nature of…

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Paul Cuffe: The Shipper Who Shaped a Nation

TweetShareShare“Let me pass away quietly.” These were the last five words of PAUL CUFFE (1759-1817). He was the son of a freed Ghana slave (father) and a Wampanoag Indian tribe (mother). He taught himself to read and write and do math. He also self-learned marine navigation. In 1772, Cuffe inherited his family farm (due to…

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