Girl in Black and White: The Story of Mary Mildred Williams and the Abolition Movement

Norton. Mar. 2019. 272p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780393609240. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393609257. HIST
OrangeReviewStarIn this captivating book, Morgan-Owens (dean of studies, Bard Early Coll.) begins with Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner informing his Boston constituency about Mary Mildred Botts Williams, allowing that the seven-year-old former slave who looked "white" would be a guest on his antislavery circuit in April 1855. Sumner commissioned a daguerreotype of Mary to undermine his contemporaries' belief that they could see race and also to threaten the structure of the South's slave system. The author's commanding research relates how the senator and lawyer John Andrew copied and distributed Mary's likeness among state legislators, bookstores, and stationery shops in Boston. Morgan-Owens also includes background on how Mary's father, Seth, escaped servitude and purchased his entire family's liberty, along with efforts from antislavery figures such as Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Frederick Douglass, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to organize on Mary's behalf. Mary later earned her independence and escaped Jim Crow by securing a government clerkship and living with her partner in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston.
VERDICT A powerful salute to the memory of Mary Williams, antebellum America's demure symbol of human freedom. Highly recommended for U.S. middle period, African American historians, young adults, and all readers.
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Marsha MasonWonsley

This is a very interesting story. Thank you

Posted : Jan 29, 2021 05:31




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