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Analyzing Black Historical Sites - Essay Example

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Black Historical Sites in the Bay Area: Name Institution Introduction The racial divide in the USA took root from the 17th century as slavery began. Imported Africans filled the US eventually in a bid to cover the demand for labor and the exploiting of the headright system…
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Analyzing Black Historical Sites
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Analyzing Black Historical Sites

Download file to see previous pages... The aftermath of the end of slavery raised the need for various reforms. Racial discriminations still went on in the US, and minor cases of slavery were still prevalent. The African American society held talks and rallies to empower each other and fight for their rights. The bay area in California was a place where radical changes within the African American society that revolutionized the fight against racism. The freeing of prisoners through the underground railroads was prevalent in the bay area. Economic development amongst the African American took root in the bay area leading to the establishment of estates by both men and women. Perhaps the most influential woman of this era was Mary Ellen Pleasant who raked a total sum of US $30,000,000 in the stock market that she used in the fight for equality. She has been christened “the mother of human and civil rights in California”. Her contribution to black history remains phenomenal as she had a massive amount of wealth that she did not hesitate to contribute to the struggle for equality. The Mary Ellen Pleasant Memorial at 1661 Octavia, San Francisco, California, was setup in memory of her dedication to the liberation of the black people in California. Her incessant effort to aid the African American society has ranked among the outspoken women of her era of slavery, segregation and violation of numerous civil and human rights of African Americans. Mary Ellen Pleasant Memorial Park and its Background The Mary Ellen Memorial Park is the smallest park within San Francisco preserved in honor of the abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant and her work in the era. The park is adorned with six gigantic eucalyptus blue gum trees that run down along Octavia Street. The six trees the only surviving ones out of the 20 that Ms. Pleasant herself had planted along the street. The City of San Francisco landmarked these trees to protect them from human interference. This street was once filled with the property of Mary Ellen Pleasant along its full length from Bush to Sutter. Her house once occupied this street, boasting 30 rooms and an entertainment avenue for several people back in the day. It was famous for cards, liquor and beautiful women. To others, this boarding house provided jobs for the African Americans. However, this house burnt down in 1925, and in its place Green Eye’s hospital built the Healing Arts Building1. A plaque adorns the front of her former 30-room home in her honor at the intersection of Bush and Octavia Streets. The disc-shaped plaque within the southwest corner of this intersection has a brief history of life and works of Mary Ellen Pleasant written on its cement structure2. The park remains a historical site for African Americans as it stands for the appreciation of the work of Mary Ellen Pleasant, whose philanthropy led to the efficacy of the black struggle in the freeing of slaves and the Civil War. Mary Ellen Pleasant was born at around 1814 as a slave in the East Coast, but she fled by boat in 1852 to San Francisco to establish herself in the bay area. She legally identified herself as white in the society to avoid being bound to slavery again and to empower herself financially. The Fugitive Slave Act would have led to her recapture in California so she developed a new identity with freedom papers, Mrs. Ellen Smith. She mixed with the top crop of the society ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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