Deborah McNally

Academic Historian

Deborah McNally received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2013 and currently teaches courses on Everyday Life in Nineteenth-Century America and Salem Witchcraft in Colonial New England at the University of Washington, Seattle.  Her research interests include slavery, race, gender, and women’s history.Her dissertation, “Within Patriarchy: Gender and Power in Massachusetts’s Congregational Churches, 1630-1730,” explores the relationship between gender and power in the religious culture of Massachusetts’s Congregational churches during the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries.  It demonstrates that within a decidedly patriarchal culture, women were both key participants in and patrons of their individual congregations and shapers of both their and their family’s religious experience throughout the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries.

Debbie served as the webmaster of Blackpast.org from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2009 to 2013.

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)

Known to his contemporaries as “The Black Napoleon,” Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history that created an independent state, the Haitian Revolution. Born into slavery on May 20, 1743 in the French colony of Saint … Read MoreToussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (1889- )

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the oldest continuously operating black church in Portland, Oregon. It was founded by 20 people in 1889 in the home of Phillip Jenkins and organized under its current name.  Its first pastor was Reverend S.S. Freeman who was … Read MoreBethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (1889- )

Harry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954)

Composer, performer, musical critic/essayist, advocate, and teacher H. Lawrence Freeman was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1869 to Lemuel Freeman and Agnes Sims-Freeman.  Initially self-taught, Freeman’s musical abilities were apparent at a young age. At 12, he started and performed in a boy’s vocal quartet.  … Read MoreHarry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954)

Kenneth Irvine Chenault (1951- )

Hand-picked by his American Express predecessor, CEO Harvey Golub, to lead the company upon Golub’s retirement, Kenneth Chenault is an attorney and the CEO and chairman of American Express.  Named one of the fifty most powerful African American executives by Fortune magazine in 2001, Chenault … Read MoreKenneth Irvine Chenault (1951- )

Five Points District, New York City, New York (1830s-1860s)

Five Points by George Catlin, 1827 Image Ownership: Public Domain Originally the site of New York City’s first free black settlement, by 1850 the Five Points district in lower Manhattan had instead become infamous for its dance halls, bars, gambling houses, prostitution, and for its … Read MoreFive Points District, New York City, New York (1830s-1860s)

Michael K. Ross (1941-2007)

Michael K. Ross was a Washington State legislator, civil rights activist, and contractor who, although he worked from within established political channels, was not afraid to go against the grain to affect social change. Ross’s early years followed a conservative trajectory.  Born in Iowa City, … Read MoreMichael K. Ross (1941-2007)