Can you read a play? Can you build a fire? Can you drive a motorcycle? No, not until you’re an adult. Then you can learn how to drive a car or a plane.
In the meantime, you’ll just have to accept that we’re all pretty awful at some things. And some of us aren’t even that bad. So just be prepared to make mistakes. And don’t feel bad about ’em. Because sometimes things are just so difficult. And if you’re gonna have an easy life, you might as well enjoy an easy life. If you don’t like the way our culture treats its weakest people then you haven’t done enough to make America great. We do the best we can, and we won’t do enough to keep you all happy.
And don’t be like me, though. I know how to enjoy living in a society that tells me that the best things in the world happen to people who aren’t like me. I mean, look how much fun you had being “the guy who did it.” I just can’t stand that.
On July 30, 1847, at San Bernardino, California, 18-year-old Mary Jemison set off to become America’s first recorded “Black” woman. She would not live to see it happen.
After serving in the war as a nurse she married William Jemison, a Methodist minister who preached a sermon on the Bible about “uncleanness of heart,” a topic she said was “of a most sacred, holy nature.” In September of 1848, Mary Jemison met her husband’s first wife and became pregnant. Upon learning both the pregnancy and what would become of the child, she left her husband and the church for the abolitionist society. The Jemison family joined Mary Jemison’s sister in the new abolitionist society, which grew in size to several thousand members in 1850.
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Mary Jemison later became associated with another new society, with the names of the men who led it. These men were Henry Clay, Peter Coughlin, Joseph Plessy, and Louisa May Alcott (later known as The Mother). By the time she met her second husband in 1850, Mary Jemison’s “Uncleanness” would be the subject of national news coverage, as the nation was riveted upon the slave rebellion sparked in northern Arkansas in January 1838. Following the rebellion and the fall of Arkansas, the Southern states would make their stance
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