THEY CARRIED US
The Social Impact of Philadelphia's Black Women Leaders
"Many of my family members dedicated their lives to ending slavery and fighting against injustice. They Carried Us reminds me of a quote from Frederick Douglass: in a letter to Harriet Tubman, he wrote: “The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witnesses of your devotion to freedom and of your heroism.” In this wonderful book, the stars are no longer silent. Thank you for taking up your pen."
—Robert E. Seeley , Descendant of the abolitionist Garrett family, widely known lecturer on the Underground Railroad and researcher for the Harriet Tubman Byways.
"Despite the countless, immeasurable contributions of Black women, they have been historically ignored. But there is no such thing as the voiceless. So when revolutionary educators coauthor a book like this, I am so grateful. This teaching tool and fountain of inspiration will surely educate and serve as a catalyst for activism for our communities and the world at large. We stand on the shoulders of giants—forever heard."
—Sharif El-Mekki , Founder of The Fellowship—Black Male Educators for Social Justice/ BMEC and the National Center for Black Educator Development
"They Carried Us is an indispensable collection that serves to expand the little- known history of the contributions of Philadelphia’s Black women’s leaders to the city and America. is treasure trove of historical accounts captures how important it is to seek out new narratives and for students to research and transmit them. The women in They Carried Us serve as an inspiration for generations of students who continue to fight to improve the world around them."
—Yaasiyn Muhammad, M.Ed. , Cofounder of the Philadelphia Black History Collaborative and Social Studies Curriculum Specialist, School District of Philadelphia
"Allener Baker-Rogers and Fasaha Traylor—scholars, educators, freedom fighters—have given all Philadelphians an essential gift: the stories of black women who from the city’s founding until today have labored selflessly for justice, for equity, for community wellness in a city that has never truly lived up to the meaning of its name and that has too often neglected entirely the well-being of its black women residents. Beginning with the story of Black Alice—an enslaved woman born in Philadelphia in 1694—and taking us up to the present, They Carried Us restores the lives, struggles and accomplishments of black women to the story of the City of Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love."
—Matthew J. Countryman, Author of Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia, and Chair, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan
"Allener Baker-Rogers and Fasaha Traylor have given us a remarkable gift in their book, They Carried Us: The Social Impact of Philadelphia’s Black Women Leaders. It couldn’t have come at a better time. As we approach the 100th- anniversary commemoration of women gaining the right to vote, and black women being intentionally erased from the suffrage movement, this celebration of Philadelphia’s black women in leadership underscores how important black women everywhere have been in uplifting us all. From Sonia Sanchez’s powerful foreword to the incredible women we know and love to those who are heralded here for the first time, I am reminded of that line in Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enough”: Somebody anybody sing a black girl’s song.... For the record, Baker- Rogers and Traylor are singing our song and it’s about time."
—Jovida Hill , Writer and Producer of In the Land of Jim Crow
"Allener Baker-Rogers and Fasaha Traylor’s book entitled They Carried Us: The Social Impact of Philadelphia’s Black Women Leaders is a seminal work that documents Black women who have made significant contributions to the city of Philadelphia. W.E. B. Du Bois wrote, “But what of black women? … I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire.” Baker-Rogers and Traylor introduce us to some of these known and little-known women who have been through the fire of slavery, sexism and racism but managed to achieve success in overcoming serious obstacles and pursuing various professions. This book is a must read for those interested in African American American, and Women’s history."
—Diane D. Turner, Ph.D Curator, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries