Google is celebrating the 197th birthday of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, an American-Canadian newspaper editor and publisher — as well as a journalist, teacher, lawyer, abolitionist and suffragist — on Friday with a dedicated Doodle. Shadd Cary is credited as North America’s first Black female newspaper editor and publisher. She was also the second Black woman to earn a law degree in the US, and fought for abolition and women’s suffrage.
Shadd Cary was born on Oct. 9, 1823, in Wilmington, Delaware. Her parents’ home served as a station on the Underground Railroad. Shadd Cary became a teacher after graduating from a Pennsylvania boarding school. In 1848, Frederick Douglass published her first work in his newspaper, which was a call to action for abolition.
Following the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Shadd and her family moved to Canada. Three years later, she launched her weekly newspaper The Provincial Freeman, which was geared toward slaves who had escaped. She went back to the US after getting married and earned her law degree from Howard University in 1883. Canada honored Shadd Cary as a Person of National Historic Significance in 1994.