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Uncovering Black Heroes

Lesser-Known Stories of Liberty and Civil Rights


David Boers

Uncovering Black Heroes: Lesser-Known Stories of Liberty and Civil Rights is a series of stories regarding real people who are not so well known in the mainstream of American freedom and civil rights discussions. These people have made a difference by the events of their lives and by the deliberate contributions they made. In some chapters depictions of fugitive slaves create awareness of the perils of freedom runs and of the desperate, dangerous, and terrifying life of being a hunted person. In other chapters the degree of local level blockage individuals needed to confront is exposed. Still other chapters point out major efforts by diligent, but for the most part unknown, local people that result in court case settlements and state laws to advance civil rights, in particular suffrage. One chapter takes a close look at leaders in women’s clubs and how those leaders defined women’s roles in the Black freedom and civil rights movements. Themes stand out as they all build upon each other and are seen from one chapter to the next. In the end, a subtle evolution of ideas can be realized that forms the notion that the great and recognized Black leaders in history have their important place but that freedom and civil rights advancements are made on the backs of the local unknowns who need to be recognized for what they have contributed. This uncovering of unknown players involved in crucial events of their times in the quest for social, political, civil, and personal equality and freedom provides a unique perspective somewhat counter to mainstream thinking.

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I would like to thank Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. for the opportunity to once again share a book worldwide. All of the editors and various people who have been a part of this publication have been marvelously helpful and most gracious as we all worked together through the process. Special thanks to editors Sarah Bode, Shirley Steinberg, Jackie Pavlovic, and Tim Swenarton who guided me through the substantial number of materials necessary for publication and very specially to Dr. Farideh Koohi-Kamali, Senior Vice President of Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. for her initial communications, direct access, and encouragement. Authors are treated with kindly respect and dignity by Peter Lang.

I would also like to thank Marian University for the support it has given me regarding this project. Through the years, Marian has opened the world for me in too many ways to share here. I appreciate that and am thankful for the opportunities. Special thanks to my colleagues in the School of Education, who all have been my mentors either knowingly or not. Clearly, they have helped to inspire any successes I have had. My time with them is exceedingly valuable.

And as always, thanks to my family. Lovely Linda, my wife and best friend for 38 years, has been a constant bright light in my life. She is incredibly ← xi | xii → uplifting and the strongest person I have ever met. Along with Linda, by far the greatest joy of my life has been raising...

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