(1857) Frances Ellen Watkins, “Liberty For Slaves”

Frances Ellen Watkins was born of free parents in Baltimore in 1825. After teaching in New York and Pennsylvania Watkins became a full-time abolitionist speaker for the Maine Anti-Slavery Society. By the 1850s she was one of the most noted speakers on that subject as … Read More(1857) Frances Ellen Watkins, “Liberty For Slaves”

(1826) John B. Russwurm, “The Condition and Prospects of Haiti”

Antebellum African Americans took enormous pride in Haiti. The nation of the enslaved rose in rebellion in 1791 and on January 1, 1804 won its independence from France. At that moment the Republic of Haiti was born as the first black republic in the world, … Read More(1826) John B. Russwurm, “The Condition and Prospects of Haiti”

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

James Weldon Johnson, composer, diplomat, social critic, and civil rights activist, was born of Bahamian immigrant parents in Jacksonville, Florida on June 17, 1871. Instilled with the value of education by his father James, a waiter, and his mother Helen, a teacher, Johnson excelled at … Read MoreJames Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

Benjamin Mays (1895-1984)

Benjamin Mays, Christian minister, scholar, advocate for justice, and an educator, was born in Ninety-Six, South Carolina on August 1, 1894, the youngest of eight children.  His parents, Louvenia Carter and Hezekiah Mays, were tenant farmers and former slaves. Mays attended Virginia Union University before … Read MoreBenjamin Mays (1895-1984)