From Slave to Chef

Born a slave in Murray County, Tennessee in 1857, I was a hard-working boy during the Civil War.  At 16, I worked at a Nashville restaurant.  Years later, I became a chef and published my recipes.    36 Words Rufus Estes was a former slave who worked as a chef aboard luxury railway cars operated …

Slavery and Grooming

"What's on your mind?" Mats asked Abi. She looked like she was thinking about something. "Downtrodden doozies and winded waxers." "I'm sure you're going to explain what you mean." "Downtrodden doozies are people who are mistreated because they are thought to be troublesome, difficult or problematic. When slaves rebelled against their masters, they were seen as troublesome …

Jane’s Story

He says he loves me.  He treats me well.  I can't tell anybody that he's been teaching me how to read and write.  Every night, he comes to my cabin and teaches me how to read from the Bible. He tells me, "God loves you just as much as He loves me.  Your color doesn't matter …

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave who became a leading abolitionist.  She led hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Notes to Women salute this brave woman who suffered hardship and physical violence. When she crossed into the free state of Pennsylvania, she was overwhelmed with relief and awe.  Of this experience, she …

Fanny Kemble

If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good - Thomas J. Watson I never heard of Fanny Kemble until I recently read a devotion, …

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney She made history as the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States. Mary Eliza Mahoney was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Her parents, originally from North Carolina, were freed slaves. They moved north before the Civil War, where they would face less discrimination. Mary …

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was the eldest of thirteen children.  She was born on October 9, 1823 in Wilmington, Delaware.  Her great-grandfather was Hans Schad, alias John Shadd, who served as Hessian soldier with the British army during the French and Indian War.  Her father, Abraham Doras Shadd was trained as a shoemaker and owned a shop in …

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