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CNY abolitionist museum's video series honors historical Black women

A white house with a clock tower is surrounded by green grass and trees.
Clifford Oliver
National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum
The sun shines on the Smithfield Community Center, which houses the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro, N.Y.

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in New York is honoring renowned Black women during Women’s History Month of March. The museum, located in Peterboro, is rolling out historical videos each day this week to tell the difficult stories of Black women who endured slavery prior to the Emancipation Proclamation or are continuing to fight for racial equality.

The video series spotlights Phyllis Wheatley, who was sold as a slave when she was only a child and "would grow to become an author and poet of tremendous importance in American literature," according to the video.

Another features Ida B. Wells, who was born three years before slavery ended and went on to become a co-founder of the NAACP.

“Ida B. Wells was a Black journalist, suffragist and civil rights activist who lived from 1862 to 1931. She is best known to end the practice of lynching in the United States," the video explains.

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum President Dorothy Willsey said the institution also partnering with a Central New York library on a public exhibition.

“Nine of the women inducted into the Abolition Hall of Fame—their inductee banners are on exhibit at the Cazenovia Public Library for this month, as well. So, there are nine other stories of women, not all Black, but of women abolitionists," Willsey said.

The museum's series also features Madame C.J. Walker, known as Sarah Breedlove, a successful businesswoman who experienced poverty and faced discrimination early in her life, and Mary McLeod Bethune, born in 1875, who became "an American educator, civil rights leader, and government official who devoted her life to advancing the cause of racial and gender equality," a video released Thursday morning said.

Additional videos will be released on Friday and Saturday on the museum's YouTube account.