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QUEst for Blackness – October 2013 (Answers)

Please submit your answers to the Chair (aalh@omega10thdistrict.org) by the end of the month.  Make sure you give your full name and your chapter.

QUEst #1: Born a free black man in 1821 in Indian Mills, New Jersey, I was an entrepreneur who, despite little formal education, became a successful businessman, author and important figure on the Eastern Line of the Underground Railroad. My parents were born slaves, but escaped to New Jersey before my birth. My mother, on her first attempt to escape slavery, was captured and returned to the south with the four children with whom she had fled. On the subsequent, successful attempt, she was forced to leave two of her sons behind. I successfully campaigned to end segregation on Philadelphia trolley cars in 1867.

 What injustices are Omega men campaigning for or against? Who am I?

ANS: William Still

QUEst #2:  A free black man who acted as both an Agent and Conductor on the Railroad, my most remarkable moment came in the form of my own narrow escape. Because the law allowed for the sale into slavery of any free black person convicted of aiding in the escape of slaves, my risk in acting as a conductor on the Underground Railroad was particularly great. I was arrested in Dover, Delaware for absconding with slaves and was eventually tried and convicted. I was placed on the auction block in the center of Dover’s town green, stripped nearly naked to facilitate my inspection by slave buyers, and endured the humiliation of being appraised for sale.

Omega men, are we willing to aid BLACK people in their escape from ignorance?

Who am I?

ANS: Samuel D. Burris

QUEst #3:  I was one of the most important black leaders in Delaware during the 19th century. My accomplishments in the cause for the abolition of slavery rank me among national figures. I was a descendant of a German military officer who had settled in West Chester. After attending the first National Convention to protest racism in Philadelphia in September 1830, I went on to attend most major meetings regarding the abolition of slavery over the course of the next decades including: the National Negro Convention (1830, ’31, ’32), the American Antislavery Society’s meeting (1835, ’36), and the National Convention (elected president in 1833). I opposed African colonization and argued for the entitlement to civil rights I felt black Americans should have as a result of their significant investment in the country’s foundation. I conducted anti-slavery and Underground Railroad activity from my home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, until my move to Canada in 1851.

How’s Omega doing as abolitionist for BLACK people to free them from ignorance? Who am I?

ANS: Abraham D. Shadd


QUEst #4:  I was a pioneer in the quest for racial and gender equality in America. Born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1823, I became an important teacher, newspaper publisher, lawyer, and abolitionist. Appalled by the passage of the fugitive slave act in 1850, I relocated to North Buxton, Ontario. There I founded the “Provincial Freeman”, becoming the first black woman to publish a newspaper in North America. Along with a runaway from Kent County, Maryland, I helped fugitives find land granted by the Province to runaways. In 1855 she was the first woman to speak at the National Negro Convention and eventually testified before Congress in favor of women’s suffrage. In 1883 I obtained a law degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and established a legal practice dedicated to obtaining equal rights for black Americans. I continued to write for newspapers and fight for equality until my death.

Omega men, what are you giving your life to? Who am I?

ANS: Mary Ann Shadd

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