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Mary Frances Berry

Originally posted September 2005

My Face is Black is True

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A widowed washerwoman, born into slavery in Tennessee, took charge of a movement to win pensions for ex-slaves after the Civil War, and wound up harassed by the government, prosecuted, and eventually imprisoned. Her story was long forgotten. But now Mary Frances Berry, historian and former head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, resurrects the story of Callie House and her reparations movement.




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Find Mary Berry on the web: www.maryfrancesberry.com

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