Walk in love.
Speak with love.
It sounds simple, yet the world struggles with this every single day.
* Black History Facts
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Systematic slavery began in 1626 in the present-day state of New York, when eleven captive Africans arrived on a Dutch West India Company ship in the New Amsterdam harbor. Historian Ira Berlin called them Atlantic Creoles who had European and African ancestry and spoke many languages
Catherine Ferguson was born during slavery in 1779 while her mother was traveling from Virginia to New York. Her mother having been sold away when she was only eight served as a catalyst to Catherine’s quest to purchase her own freedom. Like many African Americans in this time, Ferguson desired to learn to read and write, and yet these were some of the very basic rights that were denied her. At 16 she found out it would cost $200—the equivalent of over $6,000 today—to buy her freedom. She found a woman who was willing to help her raise this amount. After 11 months of hard work, she raised $100 on her own, with the remainder coming from a fellow church member. To earn income, Ferguson became a baker; she was known for her excellent cakes.
Ferguson lived a life full of giving. Hers was unique in that it was engraved in service. As a Christian minister, Ferguson began providing for children to ensure they gained one skill she lacked—reading. She did this by convincing others who could read to teach those children. These reading workshops happened on Sundays when the children were taught to read the bible. In addition, Ferguson is credited with starting one of the first Sunday schools in New York City. Beyond this, she served as a foster parent, so that by the end of her life she had taken care of approximately 48 children, 20 of whom were white. Her contributions were so crucial because she went the extra mile to find the children suitable homes after a certain period of time.