Black History Month Videos on OCTA’s YouTube Channel
OCTA will be releasing a number of short videos this week featuring the contributions of African-Americans to our National Historic Trails. We just launched our newest video on Emily Fisher, a former slave who wound up owning a hotel on the Independence Square that become very popular with trail travelers. Her granddaughter would become a cook for Harry and Bess Truman, and when Truman became President in 1945, their cook went to the White House with them.
We previously launched a short video on Hiram and Matilda Young, former slaves who became wealthy wagon manufacturers. In the coming days, we will release videos on Sam Shepherd, a slave who hewed the logs for the first Independence Courthouse, and another video about a slave-owner and her mulatto slave who lived along the trail in Jackson County, Missouri.
Please also plan to attend the Zoom board meeting this Saturday (information above) to see the debut of our video on Biddy Mason, a slave from Mississippi whose masters converted to Mormonism and made the trek from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City before settling in San Bernardino. It was in California where Biddy would gain her freedom and become one of the wealthiest residents of Los Angeles. As an added bonus, you will have the opportunity to meet the actress who portrayed Biddy Mason. She will be available to answer a few questions after the debut of this 8-minute video about the life of this extraordinary trail pioneer.
We would like to thank the Independence Community Theater and its Executive Director, Nancy Eppert, for costumes, use of the Independence Log Courthouse for staging, and for portraying our slave owner in one of the videos (certainly not the most comfortable role to play). We also thank our actor and actresses who brought these historic figures to life so they won’t be forgotten.
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and share our videos with friends and family alike! If you subscribe to the channel you will get an email alert the second our new videos go live. And we have a slew of other videos to release this spring on diverse topics such as St. Joseph, Lone Elm Campground in Kansas, the trail in Arizona from Nogales to Yuma, and the historic importance of Lexington, Missouri as the headquarters of the outfitting firm Russell, Majors, & Waddell.