A woman born a slave in Mississippi in 1818, Biddy Mason walked behind her owner’s wagon, first to Utah then to Los Angeles. A federal judge freed her in 1856, before the US Supreme Court held slaves were not people protected by the Constitution in the Dred Scott case. Ms. Mason became a midwife, entrepreneur, landowner, and philanthropist on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, and a founder of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, a major Black church. Biddy Mason Park is a best practice for celebrating the history of Los Angeles.
Yet, L.A. State Historic Park, despite its status and name, omits not only Biddy Mason, but the history of Black L.A. . . .
Learn more about Monuments: Diversity, Democracy and Freedom.