Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The remarkable life of one of the first black female newspaper editors in the US

Louise Hall
·1-min read
Google released an illustration celebrating Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s 197th birthday on 9 October (Google )
Google released an illustration celebrating Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s 197th birthday on 9 October (Google )

Google’s 9 October doodle celebrates the 197th birthday of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, an American-Canadian newspaper editor and publisher, journalist, teacher, lawyer, abolitionist and suffragist.

Shadd Cary was born on 9 October in 1823 in Wilmington, Delaware to two dedicated abolitionists who used their home as a station on the Underground Railroad to provide shelter to escaped slaves.

After graduating from boarding school and working as a teacher, Shadd Cary became the first black female newspaper editor and publisher in North America and later the second black woman to earn a law degree in the United States.

She launched her historic newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, a weekly publication tailored towards escaped slaves, in 1853 after her family moved to Canada following the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

In 1883 Shadd Cary completed her law degree from Howard University after marrying and returning to the US.

As a result of her contributions to society and history, she was honoured as a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government in 1994.

The Google Doodle is illustrated by guest artist Michelle Theodore who is based in Alberta, Canada.

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