How Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman Gained Her Freedom

Elizabeth Freeman
Shonda Buchanan
November 12, 2020

Frantically, she lunged in front of her weeping sister just as their malicious white slave mistress swung the hot shovel.  

Flesh tore from Elizabeth Freeman’s soft arm, and she screamed. This crucial moment solidified everything – she wanted freedom – AND revenge. But how?

She did the only thing she had the power to do – she defiantly left her ugly wound visible for everyone to see! When people asked what happened, she told them to ”ask missis!” 

The exposure of the mistress’s cruelty meant she was shunned in white society  – and she never hit Freeman’s sister again. But that wasn’t enough.

She heard white men talking about the Massachusetts Constitution, which argued that “all men are born free and equal.” But what about her? She took her case to a lawyer – who sued for her freedom!

Surprisingly, she WON! But that’s not even the best part.

Her audacity led to the end of slavery in Massachusetts! She put her body on the line, leveraged social embarrassment to thwart her captor’s cruelty, and used America’s legal system to her own ends! 

When we get creative and use what’s available to us, we can obtain justice and freedom for ourselves and future generations! How are you getting creative in the fight for Black liberation?

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