The Women & Their Stories






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Bessie Coleman

As Bessie Coleman, Tammy takes you on a journey into the world of the First Negro Aviatrix. You will take an international voyage that begins in the segregated south of the United States, where cotton was king and Jim Crow ruled underneath white sheets, where the color of your skin could determine whether you lived or died.

Your journey ends in Paris, France, where self-determination — not skin color or gender — is what truly matters.

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Elizabeth Keckly, a former enslaved woman, purchased her and her son George’s freedom for $1,200.00. After receiving her freedom she would become known as the couturier of her time. As a mantua maker, Lizzy would dress the elite in the finest of fashion.

Lizzy would also be instrumental in helping to get the Contraband Relief Association established in this nation’s capitol. This organization provided proper housing, clothes and food to help newly freed, wandering, ex-slaves who had nowhere else to go. At the end of the Civil War the name was changed to The Freedmen and Soldiers Relief Association. Lizzy also helped to establish The Home for Destitute Colored Women and Girls.

Let Tammy introduce you to the world of a former enslaved woman who would be a confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln and an informal advisor to the sixteenth president.

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One of four children held captive on the schooner Amistad, Margu would miss the rite of passage (Sande Society) into adulthood in her native Mendeland (now Sierre Leone).

After gaining freedom through a victory in the United States legal system, Margu would go on to become the first African to graduate from college in America (Oberlin College, Ohio). Life in a strange country causes Margu to become westernized, refusing to live according to the custom of her homeland. Share with Tammy this poignant voyage from childhood denial to adult autonomy.

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Although born into slavery, Clo Pratt is willed her freedom by her late mistress. As a free woman, Clo earns her living by hiring herself out, making clothes with her loom and cleaning local homes.

Join Tammy on a trip to Colonial Connecticut, where you will learn about some of the events that led to freedom for the Colonies, including the meeting between George Washington and Rochambeau at Joseph Webb’s house.

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MumBet was born a slave but did not die a slave. After 30 years of bondage, she successfully sued and won her freedom from Colonel Ashley. She received compensation of $30 for back pay as a slave. Mum Bett was known for having the courage to speak what was in her heart and to stand up for those who could not stand for themselves. “Anytime, anytime while I was a slave, If one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it–just to stand one minute on God’s airth a free woman -I would.”

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Elizabeth Keckly, a former enslaved woman, purchased her and her son George’s freedom for $1,200.00. After receiving her freedom she would become known as the couturier of her time. As a mantua maker, Lizzy would dress the elite in the finest of fashion.

Lizzy would also be instrumental in helping to get the Contraband Relief Association established in this nation’s capitol. This organization provided proper housing, clothes and food to help newly freed, wandering, ex-slaves who had nowhere else to go. At the end of the Civil War the name was changed to The Freedmen and Soldiers Relief Association. Lizzy also helped to establish The Home for Destitute Colored Women and Girls.

Let Tammy introduce you to the world of a former enslaved woman who would be a confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln and an informal advisor to the sixteenth president.

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Belinda the Afrikan was born into the Asanti Kingdom.
She was kidnapped from her homeland and sold into slavery to the Royall Family on the island of Antigua and then to Medford, Massachusetts.

Although denied the ability to read and write, Belinda the Afrikan would petition the government for what was rightfully hers- reparations for her slave labor. Tammy Denease takes you from the Volta River to the Boiling houses of Antigua to Medford, Massachusetts where the drama unfolds.
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Tammy makes learning a pleasure as she instructs her audiences, both young and old, through fascinating stories, along with props and hands-on activities. Oral traditions keep heritage and culture alive as well as teach life lessons. Venture into a world where animals talk!

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