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Roxanne Y. Schwab

writer and educator, was born in Dresden, Ontario, Canada, the fourth child of William and Nancy Newman. Little is known of her family, and the exact dates of her birth and death are unknown, but she was most likely born sometime in the mid-nineteenth century. As a young woman, she accompanied her father to the West Indies for missionary work, then returned to the United States when he became pastor of a church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Following her father's death, she moved to Appleton, Wisconsin, where she looked after her invalid mother for thirteen months. Upon her mother's death, Lucretia Newman became the head of the household for her siblings. After her early education she completed a course of scientific study at Lawrence University in Appleton before finding work as a high school music teacher and as a clerk in a dry goods store.

In 1883 Coleman was ...


David Dabydeen

Englishpoet who lent his pen to the anti‐slavery cause. Cowper was a supporter of international commerce, which he saw, idealistically, as the means by which mankind could share in God's bounty. In his poem Charity (1782), trade is described as ‘the golden girdle of the globe’, and Cowper writes of the ‘genial intercourse’ between nations effected by 18th‐century mercantile activity. The slave trader, however, betrays the principle of mutuality underpinning international commerce and brings shame to a Christian nation such as Great Britain (‘Canst thou, and honour'd with a Christian name | Buy what is woman‐born, and feel no shame?’). Religion apart, the slave trader also betrays the spirit of the age, its growing championing of liberty. To Cowper, the existence of slavery calls into question the very nature of humanity:

Then what is man? And what man, seeing this

And having human feelings does not blush ...


Sondra O’Neale

Jupiter Hammon gave birth to formal African American literature with the publication of An Evening Thought, Salvation, by Christ, with Penitential Cries (1760). Hammon was born on 17 October 1711 at the Lloyd plantation in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. He was almost fifty years old when he published his first poem, “Salvation Comes by Christ Alone,” on 25 December 1760.

Hammon was a slave to the wealthy Lloyd family. It is evident that he received some education, and he was entrusted with the family's local savings and worked as a clerk in their business. There is no record of his having a wife or child.

By the time he was eighty, Hammon had published at least three other poems— “An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly [sic], Ethiopian Poetess”, “A Poem for Children with Thoughts of Death”, and A Dialogue Entitled the Kind ...


Arthuree McLaughlin Wright

evangelist and poet, was born Lena Doolin in Quincy, Illinois, to Vaughn Poole Doolin, a black Civil War soldier, and Reida (or Reba) Doolin, a former slave. After the war the Doolin family moved to Hannibal, Missouri. Lena Doolin was the fifth of ten children and grew up with her seven sisters and two brothers in a loving family. Doolin's parents affirmed her as a person and nurtured her in the Christian faith. In January 1872, at the age of seven, she joined the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church of Hannibal under the Reverend John Turner Church leaders and family sensed that Lena had a special God ordained purpose for her life at an early age and by age twelve she was able to interpret scripture as effectively as an adult Twice during her youth she felt a nudging from God to preach the Christian ...


Marilyn Demarest Button

clergyman, poet, and missionary, was born in Madison, Connecticut, the son of Abel Rogers and Chloe Ladue, farmers. His father, the son of an African slave who had survived a shipwreck off the coast of Connecticut, was raised as family by the Reverend Jonathan Todd, from whom he eventually inherited the farmland on which he made his living. In the early 1830s Rogers left for Hartford, Connecticut, where he attended school and worked for his board in the home of a Major Caldwell. His first formal church affiliation was established in 1833 as a communicant of the Hartford Talcott Street congregation.

In 1835 Rogers went to Peterboro, New York, to study for the ministry at a school established by the philanthropist-reformer Gerrit Smith The following year to pay for his studies he began teaching at the recommendation of Smith in a public school ...


Baltasar Fra-Molinero

Sister Teresa Juliana de Santo Domingo was born in Africa with the name Chicaba. By her own testimony, she was the daughter of a king or a chief from the area of La Mina Baxa del Oro. Spanish geographers applied this name to the region then known in English as the Slave Coast, extending from present-day Ghana to Nigeria. When the girl was nine years old, a slave ship captured her and took her to the island of São Tomé, where she was baptized, and then to Spain.

Presented to King Carlos II because of her unusual personality and her claim to be the daughter of royalty she was given by the Spanish king as a present to the Marquis de Mancera former viceroy of Mexico In the household of the Marquis she revealed a profound religiosity and a spiritual ascendance over her owner s wife She succeeded in obtaining ...


LaRose M. Davis

epic poet and clergyman, was born in Hart County, Kentucky. His father, Caswell Whitman, was enslaved, and the status of his mother, born Caroline Bronner (sometimes Brawner), is uncertain. Albery was one of five children born to the pair. He had two older siblings, Richard Gillem and David Whitfield, and two younger siblings, Julia Catherine and Robert Taylor.

Albery Whitman is an enigma in the realm of African American history, both literary and social. Unlike many figures who achieved relative prominence, Whitman left no autobiography or memoirs to offer clues to his eventful life. From the time of his birth until 1 January 1863 he was a slave working on the plantation of his birth At the age of twelve Albery became an orphan After the death of his father he began a brief career as an itinerant worker working in many different towns throughout ...