“If I had been offered one minute’s freedom and told at the end of minute I would have to die, I would have taken it, just to stand one minute a free woman on God’s earth, I would” ~ Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman as told in “A Free Woman on God’s Earth: The True Story of Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman The Slave Who Won Her Freedom” by Jana Laiz and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes (Crow Flies Press, 2009); Ages 8 and up; 119 pages, $11.99)
Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman was a local African-American hero, who sued for her freedom and won in the Great Barrington court house in 1781. The juvenile biography “A Free Woman on God’s Earth: The True Story of Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman The Slave Who Won Her Freedom” by local authors Jana Laiz and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes, vividly describes Mumbet’s life as a slave and later as a free woman. Mumbet, from the day she was pulled away from her mother and father, always had a passion for her freedom. As she grew that passion grew with her. When she got married to a slave on a neighboring farm she was appalled that she couldn’t live under the same roof as her husband. Her daughter, Little Bet, was born and with her, the new hope of freedom. Especially when the news came that the army was offering freedom to those young slaves willing to fight for America — Mumbet’s husband gladly went.
As Little Bet grew her mother taught her how to be honest and how to love the little things around her. America was growing too and the urge to be free from Britain’s hold was getting ever more powerful, and so too was Mumbet’s desire to be wanted free. She had engraved in her mind “All men are created equal” and Mumbet never forgot those words. Even when she heard the devastating news that her husband had died, she fought for her freedom. Mumbet became a free woman under Gods eyes in 1781, as she had wished her whole life.
Even as a 13-year-old “A Free Woman on Gods Earth” still gave me information that I hadn’t known about. It is mostly for the younger ages and a little below my reading level, but I still enjoyed the quick read. This book is an informative read that allows its readers to learn a little more about Massachusetts and Berkshire County history, and the role our region played in slaves becoming free. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning about the brave woman who was Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman.
“A Free Woman on God’s Earth: The True Story of Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman The Slave Who Won Her Freedom” by Jana Laiz and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes can be purchased online at amazon.com.