Black History Month 2019
Asma Ahmed, Editor and Staff Writer
Kerry Zvonarek, Editor and Staff Writer
Black History Month, occurring annually every February, is a time to reflect and appreciate those who have bettered the lives of many. These two influential individuals helped to pave the road to equality for all races and genders in some way. Whether it be from within a box or delivering a speech, they were able to make a drastic impact which will be remembered forever.
Henry "Box" Brown
This Virginia slave in the 19th Century achieved freedom by having himself mailed in a wooden crate to Philadelphia after his wife, Nancy, was sold to another slave owner. When the Fugitive Slave Laws were passed, there was added pressure to capture escaped slaves. As a result, Brown moved to England and became a magician. He was remarried and had a new family. In 1875, Brown came back to the states with his family and continued performing till he passed away in 1897.
Other slaves heard of Brown's successful "packaging escape." Many tried and also succeeded in making it to Philadelphia without anyone else knowing. Eventually, authorities learned about the escape technique and put regulations on postal services, requiring them to check inside the crates before shipping them off.
Brown encouraged other slaves to take matters into their own hands and try to fight for their freedom, even if it took unconventional ways like his.
Sojourner Truth was a slave living a miserable life in the early 1800s, hoping for change and freedom. After achieving this freedom in 1826, she didn’t stop there. She ended up joining a Massachusetts abolitionist organization called the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. With the organization, she was able to fight not only for the equal rights of all colored people but also of women in particular as well. Truth explained the hardships women of color faced in her famous speech “Ain’t I A Woman?” which has become a staple text to read in many US classrooms. Sojourner Truth left behind a legacy of faith, courage, and fighting for what’s right.
Editors, History.com. "Sojourner Truth." History.com. 29 Oct. 2009. A&E Television Networks. 27 Feb. 2019 <https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/sojourner-truth>.