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At the Library - Free Person Of Color

At The Library

Take a Kid with you to the Public Library

Title: Free Man of Color
The Autobiography of Willis Augustus Hodges

Author: -edited, with an introduction, by William B. Gatewood,Jr.

Publisher: University of Tennessee Press; 1982

ISBN: ISBN 0-87049-353-1

From the preface

During 1946 and 1947 when Armstead Scott Pride, the principal investigator of the Negro Newspaper Microfilming project, was engaged in a nationwide search for black newspapers, he learned from an acquaintance that a copy of a little known black abolitionist weekly, The Ram's Horn, was hanging on the wall of an old building located on Fulton Street in New York. In July 1946, Pride went to 32 Fulton Street, the Address of a structure "with a george-washington-slept-here flavor" that was then used as a warehouse. He met the custodian of the building, an elderly Black man by the name of Willis A. Hodges, who lived in an apartment over the warehouse and who was the grandson and namesake of the founder of the 'Ram's Horn'. Pride's information about a copy of the paper hanging on the wall proved to be correct. In a glass enclosure bordered by a wooden frame was a copy of the November 5, 1847, issue of the weekly along with a letter from John Brown to Hodge's grandfather. These documents were , as Hodges made clear, his most prized possessions. Pride quickly "learned the value of the wall-piece in this man's life - an heirloom, priceless, a sort of family bible" that was not to be disturbed.

"Guided by the Ancestors"

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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