African-American icons unfairly overlooked during Black History Month

Mildred Europa Taylor February 05, 2019
Credit: New York Times

Mary Ellen Pleasant

She was an American entrepreneur, real estate magnate, financier and abolitionist in the 19th century. Born in 1814 in Virginia, Pleasant first worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad before setting up a restaurant for California miners. By 1875, she had made a fortune through various businesses and investments. She is believed to have helped establish the Bank of California. Before her death in 1904, Pleasant became known as the “Mother” of California’s early civil rights movement, after establishing the local Underground Railroad and winning several civil rights lawsuits in California.


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