While Black History Month celebrates many influential figures who played a crucial part in the abolition of slavery and helping slaves to freedom, there are many inspirational people who are hardly mentioned – many of these individuals are black females. At Gemondo we are continuously inspired by these brave women and their actions which have changed the world. From leading anti-slavery movements to devising secret escape roots, we've listed a few amazing and extraordinary women who have made massive contributions to the Abolition of Slavery.
Elizabeth Freeman (c. 1744 - 1829)
Also known as “Mumbet” or simply “Bet”, Elizabeth Freeman was one of the first slaves in Massachusetts to argue in court for her freedom. While working in the field, Bet heard the Massachusetts Constitution read aloud which stated that all people are born free and equal. Using the council of Theodore Sedgwick, a Stockbridge anti-slavery activist and attorney, Bet sued for her freedom using the newly ratified constitution and encouraged many other slaves to do the same.
Sarah Parker Remond (1826 – 1894)
Sarah Parker Remond became the first African American women to deliver speeches and lectures at a UK university. Coming from a family of freed slaves, Remond committed her life to raising awareness and supporting the anti-slavery campaign. Remond was also one of the first black women to attend Bedford College for ladies.
Mary Ann Shad Cary (1823 – 1893)
Perhaps the first black suffragist to form a suffrage association, Cary was a leader for the African American people who fled to Canada. In 1853 Cary also founded a newspaper which focussed on the interests of African Americans living in Canada. She used the newspaper, the Provincial Freeman, to promote the idea of females voting in Washington. Despite being unsuccessful when trying to vote in 1871, Cary founded the Colored Women’s Progressive Franchise Association, an organisation which promoted females’ rights to vote and educated people on political and financial affairs.
Frances E.W. Harper (1825 – 1911)
A child of freed slaves, Harper was an avid advocate for the abolishment of slavery and travelled throughout north America delivering speeches. Harper was also a very successful poet and orator and wrote many famous poems, such as Forest Leaves that were inspired by the anti-slavery movement.
Ellen Craft (1824 – 1900)
Along with her husband, Willam Craft, Ellen Craft was a slave who escaped to freedom by train and steamboat. Ellen, who had a white father and black mother, posed as a white male planter and William posed as her personal assistant. Along their escape journey, the Crafts helped lead many other slaves to freedom. After briefly moving to the UK and travelling around to give speeches, The Crafts moved back to The States in 1868 and opened an agricultural school in Georgia
Celebrating and empowering women is at the heart of Gemondo. Do you know any more amazing women who played a part in changing the world in one way or another?