From the Black History Files: Mary Ellen Pleasant
Called "the Mother of Civil Rights in California" from work begun in the 1860s, her achievements went unsurpassed until the 1960s. Pleasant was once the most talked-about woman in San Francisco. When other African Americans were rarely mentioned, she claimed full-page articles in the press. Her dramatic life was part of the story of slavery, abolition, the gold rush, and the Civil War; she helped shape early San Francisco, and covertly amassed a joint fortune once assessed at $30,000,000! Americans today deserve to know her because she could love across boundaries of race and class without losing sight of her goal -- equality for herself and her people.
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Taken from: http://www.mepleasant.com/story.html