Academic Historian

Shirley J. Yee is Associate Professor of Women Studies at the University of Washington. Yee earned her Ph.D. at Ohio State University in 1987 and is the author of Black Women Abolitionists: A Study in Activism, 1828-1860 (University of Tennessee Press, 1992) and “Black Women as Community Builders,” Canadian Historical Review.

Anna Murray Douglass (c. 1813-1882)

Anna Murray Douglass is best known as the first wife of black abolitionist Frederick Douglass.  Her life illustrates the challenges facing women who were married to famous men.  Born as a free black in rural Maryland, her parents, Mary and Bambarra Murray, were manumitted shortly … Read MoreAnna Murray Douglass (c. 1813-1882)

Harriet Ross Tubman (ca. 1821-1913)

Dubbed “The Moses of Her People,” escaped slave Harriet Tubman assisted hundreds of slaves on the Underground Railroad, leading them from Maryland to safety in Pennsylvania.  Born enslaved in 1821 and raised in Dorchester County, Maryland to Benjamin and Harriett Greene Ross, she was both … Read MoreHarriet Ross Tubman (ca. 1821-1913)

Charlotte Forten Grimké (1837-1914)

Charlotte Forten Grimké grew up in a rich intellectual and activist environment.  Born into a wealthy Black abolitionist family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Charlotte Louise Forten became famous in her own right as a writer and poet.  Her grandparents, James, Sr. and Charlotte Forten, hosted leading … Read MoreCharlotte Forten Grimké (1837-1914)