I was recently contacted by a retired journalist from Ohio who had a desire to have a dining room table occupied by four noteworthy African American women. I welcomed this challenge and was honored to complete it. If only these guests could talk…what a story they would have to tell.
The chairs included:
Sojourner Truth, who was an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son in 1828, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.
Harriet Tubman, who was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into salvery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women’s suffrage.
Rosa Parks, who on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, rejected bus driver James Blake’s order to vacate a row of four seats in the “colored” section in favor of a white passenger, once the “white” section was filled. Because of her actions, she became symbol of the civil right movement.
Maya Angelou, who was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She is probably best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim