Harriet Tubman (1822*-1913)
Born Araminta Ross, Harriet Tubman changed her name after marriage adopting her husband’s last name. The first name was changed for reasons unknown. Tubman was born into slavery and suffered through her life in the pursuit of freedom. Following the death of the plantation owner, she managed to escape and live as an outlaw working odd jobs until she managed to arrive in Canada. Canada, as part of the British Empire, had abolished slavery and she could hide there.
Through the years, Tubman went on escape missions back in the US, helping other slaves and relatives escape, and succeeded in doing so. She worked alongside many other activists towards anti-slavery and later towards women’s suffrage. Tubman lived a life in poverty because she was not recognised legally or socially by the government. Her efforts inspired many following activists through history, and she has been credited and commemorated later in life for her heroic and patriotic efforts.
*the date and place of birth is unknown due to most slaves being undocumented.
Jane Cooke Wright (1919-2013)
Jane Cooke Wright was born in a time where the Black Pride movement was prominent. The activist movement promoted and encouraged Black cultures and heritage. As a woman of color, it helped Wright to flourish in her field of studies. She originally wanted to study arts but changed course because her father convinced her to do so. Wright studied medicine at New York Medical College and graduated with honors in 1945. Following in the footsteps of her father, Wright researched cancer and especially chemotherapy.
Wright is known for her significant contributions for chemotherapy and developing the research method of using human tissue culture for studies. Instead of using lab rats for testing, they could extract human tissues (cells) and use these for research. Moreover, her work consisted of testing drugs on cancerous tumors and finding treatments for breast cancer and leukemia. Her contributions to cancer research have developed the field of cancer treatment.