Milk’s black mystery month: the learning curve

My dear old granny once told me a good deed do not go unnoticed, and she was right; although doing something positive is its own reward, a genuine act of kindness always has a way of coming back to the giver.

As we continue on through this month of celebration of the African American people, I would like to shine light on those individuals who contributed greatly to the struggle of equality through their deeds, services and contributions to the struggle.

Michael Jordan has a sneaker, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has his own holiday and a boulevard in every major ghetto named after him; but what about wearing a pair of Air Harriet Tubman’s? When will we see Tupac Avenue? I am being funny now, but seriously, three cheers for the following:

Mum Bett-a slave for almost four decades, Elizabeth Freeman, better known as “Mum Bett” had been purchased by a military colonel as an infant. Like most slaves of her time, she had grown to accept the fact that she would never be free. But that all changed one day when Freeman heard the Declaration of Independance read and decided it was time to declare her own independance. In the unpreceneted case, Brom v. Bett v. Ashley, set in motion a chain of events which ultimatley ended slavery in New England. Bett died a free woman in 1829.

William Wells Brown-an escaped slave, Brown first gained notoriety as a conductor for the Underground Railroad in Buffalo, New York. In 1843, he began lecturing for the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society. Later, he began writing about the ills of slavery in the southern states. In 1853 Brown wrote his novel. Not only did he escape slavery, but Brown holds the distinct title of the first African American to publish a novel.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler-holding the distinction of being the first black woman to reveive a medical degree, Crumpler opened doors for other women and spent a great deal of her life studying diseases that affecting women and children. A student of Boston University School of Medicine, Crumpler went on to publish a book of medical advice entitled “A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts.”

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