One of Massachusetts’ most important historical figures, former slave Elizabeth Freeman, is being honored at the State House in Boston today. Freeman, formerly known as Mum Bett, was one of the first black slaves in Massachusetts to file a “freedom suit” and win in court under the 1780 state constitution.
“In the Berkshires, Mum Bett is pretty well-known,” said state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli. “Beyond our county, that’s not the case. I think Black History Month gives us a great opportunity for people outside the Berkshires to hear this amazing story.”
Massachusetts Chief Justice Roderick Ireland will give the keynote speech. In addition, actress Tammy Denease will present a 15-minute reenactment of the story of Mum Bett.
Denease is a Connecticut-based actress who specializes in reenacting the stories of prominent black women from history. In addition to Mum Bett, her characters include Elizabeth Keckly, another former slave who…
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