People who made a difference in History
Of all the names associated with the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman's is the most legendary. Called the black "Joan of Arc," she is credited with personally escorting three hundred slaves to freedom on more than twenty separate missions. Such missions entailed hundreds of miles of walking, navigating through rough terrain, outwitting professional slave catchers and evading hunting dogs. An abolitionist of the nineteenth century. Born a slave on a Maryland plantation, then became an escaped slave herself. She escaped to the North in 1849 via the Underground Railroad. She became the most renowned conductor of its time. During the Civil War, she served as a nurse, scout, and spy for the Union army. Believing herself guided by God on her missions, Tubman and her 100% success rate made her a legend. Prior to and during the Civil War, a $40,000 reward was offered for her arrest. Tubman settled in Auburn, New York and died there in 1913.
Thomas Garrett was an abolitionist and leader in the Underground Railroad movement before the American Civil War. Garrett was born into a prosperous landowning Quaker family on their homestead called "Thornfield" in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. In a family already inclined to abolitionism, Thomas was exceptionally dedicated. When a family servant was kidnapped by men who planned to sell her as a slave in the South, he tracked them down and released her.
In 1820 Garrett moved to Delaware, a slave state, and continued his abolitionist work. The state of Maryland put up a 10,000 dollar reward for his arrest. By his own estimation, Garrett helped more than 2700 slaves gain their personal freedom. Garrett is buried in Wilmington Delaware at the Quaker Meeting House on Fourth Street. Garrett died on January 25, 1871. He stipulated that he was to be carried to his grave by African Americans.
William Still was an African-American abolitionist, conductor on the Underground Railroad, writer, historian and civil rights activist. He was born in Burlington County, New Jersey, to Charity and Levin Still. His parents had come to New Jersey from the eastern shore of Maryland as ex-slaves. An active community leader, Still successfully campaigned to end segregation on Philadelphia trolley cars in 1867. He started the Berean Presbyterian Church in 1884 and a black-owned Savings & Loan four years later, in addition to many other socially conscious efforts. The New York Times posited that Still was "one of the best-educated members of his race, who was known throughout the country as the 'Father of the Underground Railroad'" in his obituary.
Rosa Parks February 14, 1913 to October 24, 2005
Rosa trained a group of NAACP youths to protest segregation in the Montgomery Public Library, and she participated in voter registration drives. It is important to realize the extent to which Parks was involved in the black community. This helps explain why she was able to inspire the modern civil rights movement. She became tired of the daily indignity that she suffered under the unfair Jim Crow racial subordination. On December 1st 1955, she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Three other black people gave up their seats, but she refused to move. Because of her defiance, she was taken to jail, and fined ten dollars and another four dollars in court costs. When the police arrested Parks, the Montgomery Black community went into non violent action. Black passengers boycotted the bus system and refused to ride a bus for more than a year. Because of her actions, she lost her job as a seamstress at Montgomery Fair Department Store. Later on in 1965, she became a special assistant to Representative John Conyers, Jr. where she remained in his employ for the next 20 years.
Bernard (Bama) Sanders Father used to drive a tractor trailer back in the sixties. In around 1962 he worked at Montgomery Fair in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks worked there also, as a seamstress. He delivered the clothes that were mended or were made by Rosa to Montgomery Fair's customers.
Bernard lived on Columbia Avenue and Rosa lived down the street in an area called Cleveland Courts. Today Columbia Avenue has been renamed and is now called Rosa Parks Avenue in Montgomery Alabama.
Back in the sixties there was a grocery in Montgomery that was referred to as the Outside Grocery. The reason being you had to walk on gravel or mud because there were no sidewalks in those days.
can read about the woman who refused to go to the back of the bus and started a
Civil Rights Movement that is still going on today at:
Today Bama lives at The ParkView, 1800 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, Delaware.
Barack Obama our 44th and first Afro-American President assumed office January 20, 2009.
Ear.W. Woodlen, Jr. the CEO of Harriet Tubman Safe House supports President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in everything they are doing and trying to do and believes they are doing a wonderful job. Mr. Biden is a friend of mine and we have talked on several occasions in the past. Keep up the good work.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 to April 4, 1968
An African-American clergyman and political leader of the twentieth century; the most prominent member of the civil rights movement. King became famous in the 1950s and 1960s through his promotion of nonviolent methods of opposition to segregation, such as boycotts of segregated city buses, or sit-ins at lunch counters that would not serve black people. His “ Letter from Birmingham Jail” defended this kind of direct, nonviolent action as a way of forcing people to take notice of injustice. King helped organize the march on Washington in 1963 that drew hundreds of thousands of supporters of civil rights to Washington, D. C., for a mass rally. At this march, he described a possible future of racial harmony in his most famous speech, which had the refrain “ I have a dream.” In 1964, he received the Nobel Prize for peace. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray in 1968.
At age forty-three, Kennedy was the youngest person to be elected president in American history. A Democratic party political leader of the twentieth century; he was president from 1961 to 1963. In his inaugural address, he challenged the nation, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." He strongly supported space exploration and the civil rights movement.
In 1963, demands by African Americans for equal civil and economic rights increased. Racial protests and demonstrations took place all over the United States. On August 28, 1963 more than 200,000 people staged a freedom march in Washington D.C. to demonstrate their demands for equal rights for blacks. Kennedy asked Congress to pass legislation requiring hotels, motels, and restaurants to admit customers regardless of race. He also asked congress to grant the attorney general authority to begin court suits to de-segregate schools on behalf of private citizens unable to start legal action themselves.
African-American History Makers
The August Quarterly
The “Big Quarterly” known today as the “August Quarterly” is the oldest continuous celebrated African Festival in the nation, first celebrated in 1814 and every year since. Pastor Jimmie Knox from Mother African Union Church 800 block of French St. He purchased his own freedom. He founded the Union Church of African Members. There were delegates from 600 churches representing more than 25,000 members from the USA and Canada. They assembled annually in Wilmington during the last weekend in August.
The PA Railroad built was built in 1881 at the Riverfront on South Market Street and Rosa Parks Drive. The Underground Railroad conductors were John Hunn and Samuel D. Burris.
Mother African Union Church is at 810 N. Franklin Street - Pastor Lawrence M. Livingston
Tubman, Garrett Riverfront Park established 1998
God sees the best in me when everybody else sees the worse in me.
Louis L. Redding
Advocate for Equality
He was a prominent lawyer and civil rights advocate from Wilmington, Delaware. Redding, the first African American to be admitted to the Delaware bar in 1929. He is a Pioneer in the struggle for equality and tireless advocated in Civil Rights cases. He successfully represented victims of Racial Discrimination in a series of Landmark cases. He gave a new meaning to the concept of equality under the law. In 1950, courts of Delaware Parker vs. University of Delaware established the rights to an unsegregated college.
In 2009, the Redding House Foundation opened the Redding House Museum in his childhood home in Wilmington. More on Mr. Redding at:
Dr. Al O. Plant, Sr.
Dr. Al O. Plant, Sr., A dynamic political leader; a dedicated spokesperson with a passion for justice for all oppressed people, has served in the Delaware House of representatives since January 1975.
Representative Plant is a native of Hensley, Arkansas a small town eighteen miles south of Little Rock. An only child who lived with his grandparents from the age of six, after his mother and father separated. His grandmother was a school teacher and his grandfather was a railroad man. Although his parents were divorced, he remained very close to both of them. However; living in Hensley, Arkansas exposed him to segregation firsthand. When he was eleven years old he purchased a hot dog at a local restaurant and when the owner refused to let him eat it there he left it on the counter and walked out. He was a good student and a great baseball player but surprised his teachers and classmates when he turned down an offer to attend a university and his opportunity to play pro baseball. He moved to Chicago and Detroit where he worked for the Chrysler Auto Company.
After an honorable discharge from the Army, he rejoined Chrysler to work in its Newark, Delaware location. In November 1957, he and his wife, Hazel moved to Wilmington, Delaware with there three small sons. While an employee at Chrysler Corporation, he became one of the leaders in organizing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which represented workers throughout the State of Delaware.
His integrity as a State Representative has earned him the respect of his friends and adversaries alike. His brilliant advocacy helped him to obtain passage of (1) the first statewide housing code in Delaware, (2) the state holiday commemorating Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, and (3) his recent bill of voluntary school prayer passed the house this past session. He has been vigilant in obtaining passage of civil rights legislation.
He is the founder of Eastlawn Area Human Service Center As a recipient of many awards and citation, he also served on the Board of the Wilmington Branch of the NAACP In 1986, Delaware State College (University) presented him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. His weekly television show that has aired for more than 20 years enables his constituents and other citizens to stay abreast of local state and national issues/concerns.
Dr Plant is the elder statesman among only four African-American State Legislators. He is a leader to be respected and reckoned with. He has taken up the banner of equal rights for all people. His hard-won fruits of his labor have made Delaware a better and stronger state.
He was a State Representative from 1992 to 2000.
Mr. Plant had a TV show on Sunday Afternoons and I used to look forward to watching it. I would know that Mr. Plant was going to criticize somebody. Then if it turned out that he was mistaken in his criticism he would make it a point to go on his show and apologize to that person and ask them to come on his show and accept his apology.
I once heard a white woman say to another woman that she hated Mr. Plant because he would not sell out his people. When I went to a meeting I knew that there would be a fight because he would not let up. Then when Mr. Plant died she said I want to go to a real man's funeral.
Hazel D. Plant was born in Amy, Arkansas. Her mother died when Hazel was a very young child. She was too small to work in the fields so her aunt raised her. Hazel’s aunt eventually adopted her, along with another sister and three brothers. At the age of twelve, Mrs. Plant belonged to the Frankie Dawn Hubbard Missionary Society. Her parents believed in attending church and instilled in her great values of hard work and survival.
Mrs. Plant attended Kansas City High School and Kansas State College. While in high school she met Al O. Plant, Sr. They were married soon after high school. They are the parents of three sons, Al O., Al Andrew, and Alfonso. Together they made a career of the military. Al was the active duty member while Hazel was the traveling spouse. The Plants later moved to Wilmington, Delaware and continued to live a reserved humble life.
Mrs. Plant was previously employed with the State of Delaware as a pre-sentence officer, Justice of the Peace, Court 10.
She is the founder and organizer of Organization of Minority Women. She found a need for an organization that would reach out to women with limited career choices and opportunities. She worked diligently with the Welfare Rights Organization.
Mrs. Plant is a member of the Organization of Minority Women; Eastern Star; and a board member of the Eastlawn Area Human Services Agency. She has served on various committees including Labor; Business/Corporations/Commerce; Economic Development, Banking and Insurance; Housing and Community Affairs; Revenue and Finance; Veterans Affairs and Gaming and PariMutuels.
In 1999, Mrs. Plant became the guardian of her six-week-old great-grandson, after the death of her granddaughter. She believes and knows that God's strength will lead and guide her through a second round of child rearing.
Mrs. Plant is currently a full-time legislator. A position that she was triumph in gaining after the death of her husband, Representative Al O. Plant, Sr.
She has been a State Representative since 2000 to present. Mrs. Plant was the type of lady who would help you whenever she was able says Earl W. Woodlen of the Harriet Tubman Safe House.
AL O. Plant & Hazel D. Plant Memorial Route.
Brothers of Hazel Plant
Hazel D. Plant, servant of God and people, daughter of the late Mabel and john Henry Hubbard, departed this earthly life on Wednesday November 24, 2010 at Saint Francis Hospice Center. Hazel left a legacy of service, dedication and vision.
Hazel was born on January 23, 1934 in Amy, Arkansas. At an early age she moved to Kansas City, Kansas to live with her Aunt and Uncle. She received her formal education in the Kansas City School System. On December 24, 1953, she united in holy matrimony to the “apple 0f her eye” the late AL 0. Plant, Sr.
From that union three sons were born, twins, Al junior and Al Anthony and Alfonzo. In November 1957 they moved their family from Detroit, Michigan to Wilmington, Delaware. While working as a domestic worker and for the State 0f Delaware in the Delaware Court System, she helped her husband become one the leaders in organizing the American Federation 0f State, County and Municipal Employees, Better known as AFSCMF.
Upon the death of her husband, State Representative AL O. Plant, Sr., Hazel successfully ran for his office and won the seat. She has served the 2nd Representative District with distinction for 10 years. She joined the House Chamber in January 2001 and served as Chair of the Labor Committee and served on various other committees. Hazel and Al were the founders of Eastlawn Area Human Services and the Organization of Minority Women which is instrumental in helping to keep Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy alive by sponsoring the MLK JR breakfast annually and awarding scholarships to area students.
She was an active member of Ebenezer Baptist Church for 35 years and served on numerous boards and committees. Preceding her in death were her husband, Al 0. Plant Sr.; grandson, Anthony Lamont; grand-daughter, Maneeka Darlene Lee Plant; and three siblings, Thelma Bradley, Arlander and Haywood Hubbard.
She leaves to cherish her beautiful memory: three devoted sons, AL 0. Jr, Al Anthony and Alfonzo N. Plant; one granddaughter, Shelbie Mills of Kinston, NC; six grandsons, Aljericko, Alfonzo Jr.4 Al 0. 3rd, Armond, Alex Plant and Christopher Wright; three great grandsons, Jaahkeir and Nadif Plant whom she raised, and Aceon Ryle; a great granddaughter, Donovan Mills; daughters in-law, Mary F. Plant and Mildred Wright; one brother, Leander Hubbard (Olivee); god daughters, Kylenae and Brittany Stribling; four god sons, James Dillard Jr., Bobby Dillard, Richard Williams Sr. and Norman Oliver; and a host 0f other relatives and friends.
A Meeting of the Minds. - Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Maurice Moyer and Reverend James L. Morgan
Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Maurice Moyer and Reverend James L. Morgan, all had a meeting about civil rights issues at the home at 807 Clayton Street in Wilmington, Delaware. (top left) Reverend Moyer said that he had a member of the civil rights movement that was a patient at the St. Francis Hospital at the time. They all walked over to St. Francis Hospital to pray for him.
Dr. Maurice F. Moyer
August 8, 1918 - March 6, 2012
This is a picture of Wayne Moody who lived up the street from the church and was a member back in the day.
Leonard L. Williams a Celebration of Life
Leonard L. Williams Justice Center Naming Ceremony
Samuel L. Guy wants to thank Andrea Holms-Williams, Garrett and Dena, Mr. William's son and daughter. He also wants to thank the entire Williams family for inviting him to speak.
Mr. Guy to welcome you to the plan that he started in 1997 at the at large meeting of the Wilmington City Council of which he was a member. He developed an idea that was implemented through the introduction of substitute number 1 to ordinance 97 titled An Ordinance to require the naming of any courthouse to be located at 4th and Walnut Streets as the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center. A deed restriction was the mechanism used to prevent any loopholes. At this time i want to publicly acknowledge and express my appreciation to my 1997 City of Wilmington Legislative and Executive branch colleges who recognized the significance of the contributions of Leonard L. Williams as the historical records reflect they acted accordingly.
Attorney At Law
1601 Concord Pike, Suite 38C
P.O. Box 25464
Wilmington, Delaware 19899
Kester Crosse Esq.
Kester Crosse was given the Dr. Al O. Plant Lifetime Achievement Award for the work that he does for the community.
If you need Legal services you can trust Kester Croose to give you the best service.
Mr. Crosse was admitted to the Delaware Bar Association in 1975. He has concluded a criminal and civil practice with Louis L. Redding, Leonard Williams, George Evans, Charles Toliver and Stephen B. Potter. He is presently employed as an Assistant Public Defender, and conducts a solo civil practice at 1214 North King Street following the retirement of Leonard Williams in 2005.
Upon returning to Delaware as a young attorney, he served on the boards of numerous community organizations including the Walnut Street YMCA, Planned Parenthood, The Wilmington Housing Authority, the ACLU, Peoples Settlement, the United Way, and The Delaware Bar Association.
Mr. Crosse is a member of the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
I was sitting in the Am Track train station and overheard a man say that he was accused of cussing out his boss. Kester Crosse was his attorney at that time. They were heading to Philadelphia for trial and as I was getting on the train the I heard someone from AmTrack tell him to go on home that the charges were dropped against him.
Later on in life I became a civil rights advocate and had a chance to work with Mr. Cross and find that he is a fighter and that is why I am doing a story on him.
The letter above next to one of my flyers is a letter of appreciation from the City of Wilmington for this organizations effort of The Treatment and Recovery of individuals who have substance abuse problems.
Below that is a support letter from Hazel Plant for this temporary shelter to assist people who are ex-inmates or are homeless and need a helping hand to get back on their feet.
Next to that is a letter acknowledging the support letter we sent on behalf of one of our clients in Virginia.