BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: ELIZABETH FREEMAN (THE BLACK WOMAN WHO ENDED SLAVERY IN MASSACHUSETTS)

BY: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Elizabeth Freeman (also known as Bett or Mumbett), was born a slave in 1744 in colonial America ( Claverack, Province of New York).

As a young child-slave at her master John Ashley’s house in Massachusetts , Freeman would sometimes overhear discussions about possible American freedom from the British. Those discussions combined with her own desire to be free, gave Freeman even more inspiration to run away from her brutal masters.

When the American Revolutionary War was finally won by America, Freeman believed that she should also be free. Freeman and her abolitionist lawyer Theodore Sedgwick, would sue the Ashley family for her freedom.

In 1781, the case would go to trial and eventually, the Massachusetts supreme court would side with Freeman, claiming slavery was against the Massachusetts Constitution. That decision would Utimately, end slavery in the state of Massachusetts altogether. Freeman would be awarded 30 shillings as compensation for her labor.

All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

– Massachusetts Constitution, Article 1.

For additional information use the links below:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Freeman

https://www.amazon.com/100-African-Americans-Shaped-American-History/dp/0912517182/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=100+african+americans+who+shaped+american+history&qid=1579168192&sprefix=100+afr&sr=8-2

AMERICA’S LAST SLAVE DIED IN 1971

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

With all the talk about reparations for the descendants of American slaves currently going on around the country, anti-reparation people would have you believe that slavery was so long ago, it wasn’t.

The last surviving person born a slave in the antebellum south was a man named, John Magee. Magee was born in North Carolina in 1841.
Magee’s parents Jeanette and Ephraim were slaves on the J.J. Shanks plantation.

Magee told people that before the Civil War he was sold to a plantation owner by the name of Hugh Magee, at a slave market in Enterprise, Mississippi.

Some say that Magee was later sold to Victory Steen, who ran a slave plantation near Florence, Mississippi. Magee would claim that in 1863 he escaped the bondage of the Steen plantation and enlisted in the Union Army, reportedly he was part of an assault on Vicksburg in Mississippi.

Magee would later get wounded at both Vicksburg and Champion Hill. After the end of the war, Magee returned to his life, but this time as a “free man”, he would begin farming near Columbia, Mississippi with a White mam named, Tom Mix.

In the early 1990’s, Magee would move to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, before later returning to Columbia, Mississippi, to work for a sawmill operator named, Richard Davis. Magee, was trusted and respected enough to supervise the mill when, Davis was away.

Magee would die on October 15, 1971.

For additional information use the link below:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvester_Magee