Mary Ellen Pleasant, the 19th-century activist and Civil Rights heroine now called "The Mother of Civil Rights in California" was born enslaved and rose to become an operative on the Underground Railroad, the Western Terminus of that network of freedom seekers, and a multi-millionairess. Her daring story is enacted in a three-part historical program (Chautauqua) by scholar/performer Susheel Bibbs all over the U.S. Having uncovered Pleasant’s lost memoirs and letters and thoroughly researched her life, Bibbs, who is a scholar for the California Council for the Humanities and a lecturer for the University of California, Berkeley, uses Pleasant’s own words and song. The uplifting, unsung story can be accompanied by an exhibit and book sale, each created by Susheel Bibbs. Pleasant's work took on a national face when she aided the abolitionist John Brown in his failed raid at Harpers Ferry, which formed the first blow of the Civil War. Her 1868 decision in the California State Supreme Court set precedent that aided modern-day Civil Rights. Pleasant's story inspires and transcends boundaries of race, class, and color. (60-90 minutes in length)
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: M.E.P. Productions, 477 Arlington Street, San Francisco, 94131-3015
Website: Meet Mary Pleasant/Oh Freedom
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Susheel Bibbs
Location Type: Program
UGRR Operatives: Mary Ellen Pleasant