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Paul A. Minifee

The second of eight children born to Caroline and Jermain Loguen, Helen Amelia Loguen grew up in Syracuse, New York, where her parents were heavily involved in the abolitionist movement. Educated by her mother and local public schools, Amelia studied chemistry, French, and trigonometry. Her father was a bishop of the American Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church and a prominent abolitionist, who employed their home as a depot for fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad and opened schools for African Americans in Utica and Syracuse. Amelia's mother came from a prosperous family of farmers in Busti, New York. Caroline's father, William Storum was a free black and one of three citizens in Chautauqua County to vote for abolitionists evidencing his politics and prosperity since New York required blacks to own at least $250 of property in order to vote An active abolitionist himself Storum utilized his farm as ...

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Leigh Fought

Helen Pitts was born in Honeoye, New York, the daughter of the white abolitionists Gideon and Jane Wills Pitts. Her father began working with the renowned abolitionist and escaped slave Frederick Douglass in 1846. Thus, from an early age Helen knew of Douglass and his work. Her parents, wealthy enough to pursue their progressive ideals, ensured that she and her sisters, Eva and Jane, received a better education than most girls of the era. Although few institutions of higher learning accepted women students, Eva attended Cornell and Helen and Jane both attended Mount Holyoke College. Helen graduated in 1859.

Reconstruction offered Helen the opportunity to combine her education with her activism. She moved to Norfolk, Virginia, to teach in a school for freed slaves in 1863 The swampy climate there took its toll on her health and the violent hostility faced by the African American ...

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Jennifer Jensen Wallach

widow of Malcolm X and educator. Born Betty Jean Sanders in Detroit, Michigan, Shabazz was raised there in a middle-class family by her adoptive parents Lorenzo Don and Helen Malloy. As a youth she was active in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She briefly attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama before enrolling in nursing school at the Brooklyn State Hospital in New York. While studying nursing Shabazz taught a class in women's health at the Nation of Islam's Temple Number 7 in Harlem. There she met the charismatic civil rights leader and Nation of Islam minister Malcolm X.

In 1958 she completed her nursing studies, converted to Islam, and married Malcolm X. They broke with the Nation of Islam in 1964, joining mainstream Islam and adopting the name “Shabazz.” The couple had six daughters, Atallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah, and Malaak ...

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James Lance Taylor

activist, was born Betty Dean Sanders in Pinehurst, Georgia (though she later claimed Detroit, Michigan), to Shelman “Juju” Sandlin, a Philadelphia steelworker, and Ollie Mae Sanders, who conceived her out of wedlock as a teenager. Rumors of maternal neglect (Sandlin was an absent father) landed Betty in Detroit, Michigan, with her devout Catholic foster parents Helen Lowe, a grammar school teacher, and Lorenzo Don Malloy a shoemaker and proprietor. She was their only child.

Growing up with the Malloys, young Betty witnessed Helen Malloy's activism in social uplift causes through a Detroit affiliate of the National Housewives League the National Council of Negro Women and the then militant National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Betty participated in the Detroit League s youth program where she competed in debutant contests studied Negro history and affiliated with the well regarded Del Sprites social club Long ...

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There is some uncertainty about Betty Shabazz's origins and early life. Reportedly the daughter of Shelman Sandlin and a woman named Sanders, she was born Betty Sanders and grew up as a foster child in the Detroit, Michigan, home of a black family named Malloy. As a youth she was active in her local African Methodist Episcopal Church. She briefly attended Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama but moved to New York City to escape Southern racism and to study at the Brooklyn State Hospital School of Nursing. During her junior year, she attended the Nation of Islam's Temple No. 7 in Harlem. There she taught a women's health and hygiene class and was noticed by Malcolm X, who was a minister at the temple. He proposed to her by telephone from Detroit, and they were married in 1958.

Shabazz converted to Islam ...

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LaVonne Roberts Jackson

“Don’t you let anybody believe that being married to one man all this long time, that we didn’t have our mountains, our valleys, and our downs,” declared Hajj Bahiyah Betty Shabazz, widow of the slain black Muslim civil rights leader Malcolm X (el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz). The marriage was ended by tragedy: on 21 February 1965, while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, Malcolm X was assassinated. Shabazz remained devoted to the legacy of her husband by involving herself in civil rights, community issues, global affairs, and human rights activism, all of which kept her in the American consciousness and media. She was a leader, a teacher, and a mentor whose motto was “find the good and praise it.”

Shabazz was born in Detroit, Michigan, and adopted by Lorenzo Don and Helen Malloy an upper middle class couple She joined the local Methodist church and attended Northern ...

Article

Eric Gardner

activist, was born Rosetta Douglass in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the daughter of Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass. Both of her parents—the man who would become America's most famous escaped slave and a woman who seems to have been born free—came from Maryland and were building a life in the North after her father's escape. The growing family moved to Lynn, Massachusetts, while Rosetta was still young.

Sprague's childhood must have been difficult. While all extant sources agree that her mother's focus was on her family and domestic circumstances, by 1845 her father still a runaway was an important African American in the abolitionist movement and was lecturing across the North That status led to fears of capture and he fled to England where he stayed until his freedom was purchased Left in Lynn Anna Murray Douglass had to be in essence self sufficient during his long ...

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Leigh Fought

As the first child of Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass, Rosetta Douglass bore the responsibility of being the daughter of the most famous black man of the nineteenth century and acted as a mediator in her parents' marriage. She was born in the first year of her father's freedom, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Rosetta spent her early years there and in Lynn, Massachusetts, helping her mother maintain the household as it grew to include three brothers (and later, in New York, a sister), as well as boarders from the abolitionist movement and such long-term guests as the fugitive slave Harriet Bailey whom Frederick Douglass adopted as his sister and whom Rosetta called aunt Rosetta s assistance was invaluable to her mother who attempted to run the household on her husband s small income as a speaker for the American Anti Slavery Society Additionally Frederick Douglass s ...

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Karen E. Sutton

gained fame in 2003 when she revealed that she was the illegitimate, biracial daughter of the late Strom Thurmond, U.S. senator from South Carolina. America knew Thurmond as a staunch segregationist, and he was the longest-serving and oldest senator in U.S. history, dying at age one hundred in June 2003. Her mother was Carrie Butler, who had a love affair with Thurmond when she was fifteen and employed as a domestic servant in his family home. At the time of their relationship, Thurmond was a single, twenty-two-year-old schoolteacher and football coach at Edgefield High School.

Born in Aiken, South Carolina, Washington-Williams was raised by her maternal aunt, Mary Butler Washington, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. She met her real mother in 1938, when “Aunt” Carrie came to visit and revealed their true relationship. At age sixteen, in 1941 while in Edgefield South Carolina for a family ...