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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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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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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 ...