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Anna Taylor Sweringen/Michal Scott: Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin – Pioneering Publisher, Suffragist and Women’s Club Founder (Contest)
Thursday, January 25th, 2024

UPDATE: The winner is…Diane Sallans!

The phrase “fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree” describes Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin perfectly.

Born Josephine St. Pierre in 1842 in Boston, her middle-class parents sent her to integrated schools in Charlestown, Salem, and New York rather than accept the segregation imposed by Boston’s school system. No wonder she lived a life predisposed to fighting injustice on her own as well as on the behalf of others.

She married George Lewis Ruffin in 1858. A pioneer in his own right, the first African American to graduate from Harvard Law School and the one of the first African American judges in a Northern state. They lived in England for six months then returned and helped recruit volunteers for African American Civil War regiments like the Massachusetts 54th.  He died in 1886.

A member of the New England Women’s Press Association, Ruffin wrote for the Courant, a weekly paper for African Americans. She founded the Women’s Era, the first newspaper published by and for African American women. She and her daughter, Florida, published this illustrated monthly for seven years.

Her fight for women’s suffrage showed she understood the concept of intersectionality. She is quoted as saying, “We are justified in believing that the success of this movement for equality of the sexes means progress toward equality of the races.” Ruffin served as president of the West End League of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association.

She was the first African American member of the New England Women’s Club. In 1893, she founded The Woman’s Era club for African American women. Living up to its motto, “Make the World Better,” their activities promoted and fundraised for self-help activities to “uplift the race.” Ruffin believed a national organization for African American women’s clubs was needed and organized a conference in Boston to that end. Women from ten to fourteen states attended. They formed the National Federation of Afro-Am Women. This in turn merged with the Colored Women’s League, forming the National Association of Colored Women.

In 1900 at the meeting of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Southern women on the credentials committee opposed her representing both white and African American clubs.  They would only accept her credentials for the white clubs. She refused and was excluded from the meeting. The incident was nationally covered by the press.

Ruffin continued her fight for racial equality, and in 1910, became a founding member of the Boston NAACP. She died in 1924. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. A bronze bust of Ruffin is one of six famous Massachusetts women which stand in the Massachusetts State House.

Once again, the accomplishments of women like Josephine awe and inspire me to do all I can with the opportunities I have. For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, leave a comment on Josephine and other women who have inspired you.

Better To Marry Than To Burn

Freed Man seeking woman to partner in marriage for at least two years in the black township of Douglass, Texas. Must be willing and able to help establish a legacy. Marital relations as necessary. Love neither required nor sought.


She sidled up to him, cupped his erection and fondled his balls.

“Ready for bed or ready to bed me?”

He moaned, placed his hand atop hers and increased the pressure. Already hard, he hadn’t imagined he could get any harder.

“Is that beautiful brass bed new?”

He gulped. “Ye—yes. Bought it—bought it for the honeymoon.”

“I’m ready to be bedded now,” she whispered. “Or is that something we must negotiate?”

All thoughts of dinner vanished.

“No,” he rasped, leaning forward, as hungry for her lips as he was to be inside her.

“Good.” She stepped back, out of reach. “But, let’s be clear…” She bent over, so her butt protruded toward him.

She massaged each buttock so her crack parted invitingly.

“Tonight, it’s the Greek way or no way.”

He blinked, stunned by this demand to be taken anally. His master had had books filled with drawings, depicting naked Greeks wrestling. Those pen and ink depictions flashed before him now. Arms constrained by arms, legs entwined with legs, butts and groins enmeshed in snug contortions.

He’d love to take Queen that way, experience first- hand the erotic intimacy etched in the men’s struggle-laden features.

He took one step toward her then stopped. No. One day, he would…but not tonight. Not their first time. Their first time would be the nose-to-nose, chest-to-breast, cock-to-vagina coupling he’d hungered five years for.

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14 comments to “Anna Taylor Sweringen/Michal Scott: Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin – Pioneering Publisher, Suffragist and Women’s Club Founder (Contest)”

  1. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 25th, 2024 at 11:18 am · Link

    As always, thanks Delilah for letting me share about remarkable women like Josephine.

  2. Debra Guyette
    · January 25th, 2024 at 12:52 pm · Link

    I love reading stories like this. Another remarkable woman was Rosalind Franklin.

  3. Diane Sallans
    · January 25th, 2024 at 2:20 pm · Link

    another reminder that women have been fighting for equality for a very long time – I’m always interested to learn about historical figures that aren’t well known

  4. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 25th, 2024 at 4:08 pm · Link

    Yes, Debra. At least Rosalind Franklin is getting her due. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 25th, 2024 at 4:09 pm · Link

    I enjoy learning about them too, Diane. I’m grateful for state historical societies that enables me to learn about them. Thanks for commenting.

  6. BN
    · January 25th, 2024 at 5:42 pm · Link

    inspiring person

  7. Jennifer Beyer
    · January 25th, 2024 at 6:09 pm · Link

    This is such an interesting story. I would love to know more about her. Does she have any living relatives? Have they continued her work?

  8. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 25th, 2024 at 8:07 pm · Link

    She certainly is. Thanks for commenting bn.

  9. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 25th, 2024 at 8:08 pm · Link

    That’s a good question, Jennifer. If she does my guess would be they’re in Massachusetts where she lived and died. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Mary Preston
    · January 25th, 2024 at 8:12 pm · Link

    Another strong woman who impresses.

  11. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 26th, 2024 at 1:42 am · Link

    Definitely an impressive and strong woman. Thanks for commenting, Mary.

  12. flchen
    · January 27th, 2024 at 9:53 pm · Link

    Wow. I’m glad to learn about Josephine St Pierre Ruffin, Anna–I do love that she is recognized at least in her own state with a bust. I do think that we need more statues of amazing women of color, and just more widespread recognition of their contributions.

  13. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 28th, 2024 at 1:56 pm · Link

    So true, flchen. Thanks for commenting.

  14. Delilah
    · February 3rd, 2024 at 9:32 am · Link

    Thank you, Anna, for another wonderful, edifying post!

    The winner of the GC is…Diane Sallans!

Comments are closed.