Afrofuturist and muralist Adeyemi Adegbesan
Adeyemi Adegbesan: This year I was given the opportunity to pay tribute to a person whose life and work had a tremendous impact on the lives of black people and women across North America. Mary Ann Shadd was the first black woman to publish a newspaper in North America, and the first woman to do so in Canada. She was also the first black woman to gain a law degree in the US, a recruiter for the Union army during the civil war, a teacher, aided in the underground railroad and was a strong voice in the abolitionist and suffragist movements.
At the start of this project I knew very little about her as her legacy has gotten far less attention than I think it deserves.