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Let It Shine: Bridget "Biddy" Mason

Summer Book Club Read on Stories of Black Female Freedom Fighters

This summer, we're reading Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters.

Bridget "Biddy" Mason is an American Hero and Black female Freedom Fighter who was born enslaved in Mississippi but became one of the first pre-eminent citizens and landowners in Los Angeles in the 1850s and 1860s.

She also founded the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles in 1872. She ended up living in California as she was made to travel with her slave owner west, although slavery was illegal in California in the 1850s.

She was encouraged to dispute her slave status once she reached California legally. Still, she remained enslaved for five years until she finally contested her slave owner for her freedom.

After, she worked tirelessly to save money and amassed an estimated $3 million, which allowed her to become a philanthropist donation to charities, feeding and sheltering the poor, and helping black children.


BGCHarlem 2020 Book Club made possible by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

BGCHarlem would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the donation of our Summer 2020 Book Club books in our Summer Fun Kits for summer campers toward the amplification of Black voices through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Equity Initiative. Click here to learn more about HMH's Books for Equity Initiative.

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