The Education of a Black Heroine
by Piper Huguley
When The Preacher’s Promise was first put forward to the public in the quarterfinal phase of the final Amazon Breakthrough Contest, some people began to question the history of my story in their reviews. They had never known of the possibility of an educated Black woman who traveled on her own to the southern states to teach. But I knew that this ignorance developed out of the lies that history tells us. We hear a lot about the brave white Christians who went to the southern states right after the Civil War, but we hear nothing of the Black people who went to help. This is one of the reasons why I wrote The Preacher’s Promise, so that the historical lie of omission could be exposed. My heroine, Amanda Stewart, was based on the real-life exploits of two Black women, Mary Patterson and Mary Peake.
Mary Jane Patterson is the first black woman who is credited with having earned a B.A. degree from Oberlin College, one of a handful of schools before the Civil War who were willing to give Black people a chance at higher education. She graduated from Oberlin in 1862. A historian of Oberlin College, Robert Fletcher, says that she taught school in Philadelphia, and later became a principal of a preparatory high school for Black students in Washington.
My heroine, Amanda, arrives in Milford, Georgia after the Civil War, just after her graduation in 1866 from Oberlin. Some real-life African American teachers were willing to take their lives and liberty into their own hands to teach the still enslaved populations how to read and write before the war ended. One of these brave people was Mary Peake.
Born of a free mother and an Englishman, Peake started a school in her own home state of Virginia on the grounds of what is now Hampton University. She started the school in 1861 after her own home had been burned by Confederate forces. Finding herself displaced, she taught the enslaved people who had gathered at Fort Monroe. She had taught out of her home for years and now brought those skills to this new endeavor with purpose. The population of the school went from six to fifty within a matter of days. Remarkably, Peake was also working as a married woman, having married Thomas Peake, one of the formerly enslaved.
Unfortunately, the next year, Peake caught tuberculosis and died. Her endeavor may not have lasted long, but Peake’s school planted the seed of an idea that spread and motivated many others to leave the comfort of their lives and homes to help the enslaved. So the provenance for an Amanda Stewart is certainly there. And the American Missionary Society, who built up several schools for the enslaved in the South, documented many more men and women of color who came south to each the recently enslaved. Novels are written about the uncommon and the exceptional. We may not know these Marys by name, but they were certainly exceptional. Their accomplishments should be remembered, and my Amanda Stewart is my way of commemorating these women who paved the way for many.
To experience Amanda's story yourself, pick your copy of "The Preacher's Promise" today! You can find this and other romance novels featuring black heroines on the When Black Women Fall promo tour at http://whenblackwomenfall.com.
On this tour, you will find that when black women fall in love it’s a sign of the times in these contemporary offerings.
In Farrah Rochon's "All You Can Handle" love was the last thing professional pastry chef Sonny White was looking for, but she finds it in a sleepy town with a motorcycle riding hottie.
In Lena Hart's "Because You Love Me" when an old desire is reawakened Sabrina will discover that even an imperfect love can triumph over all.
In Xio Axelrod's "Falling Stars" Hollywood actress' Val Saunders finds her career skyrocketing which makes her real-life attraction to her on-screen love interest come at the worst possible time.
In Ines Johnson's "Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story" having given up on fairytales after falling for her toad of an ex, Pumpkin is afraid to take a chance on a prince charming who comes to her rescue.
In Kim Golden's "Maybe Baby" Laney must choose between the man who offers her financial security and the one who makes her mind and body sing.
In Victoria H. Smith's "The Space Between" Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles, namely a man who lights a fire inside of her that challenges everything she thought she wanted.
In Christina C. Jones’ “Inevitable Conclusions” Friends? Lovers? Both? For Kora and Tariq, those lines have been blurred for a long time.
When black women fall in love it’s a magical affair as you’ll find in these paranormal stories of love.
In L Penelope's "Angelborn" he gave up eternity for love… and lost. Will Maia be his second chance?
In Laverne Thompson's "Angel Rising" Thalya, a soulless creature, meets her match when she hungers for the love of the man assigned to hunt her.
When black women fall in love it’s a defining moment as you’ll find in this historical romance.
In Piper Huguley's "The Preacher's Promise" Amanda Stewart aims to teach newly freed slaves, but meets with the resistance from the town preacher. Can these two put aside their differences and come together?
When black women fall in love it’s full of growing pains as you’ll see in this new adult romance.
In Twyla Turner's "Chasing Day" Daylen is the shy cellist who falls in love with her best friend who also happens to be the popular quarterback.
When black women fall in love it can get a little spicy as you’ll find in this erotica novellete.
In Harper Miller's "Entwined" trouble finds Gabby when she meets an ex-marine looking to release a little tension.
From February 8-14, the intersection of Valentine’s Day and Black History month, check out one of these romances at a discounted price and enter for your chance to win a giveaway basket that includes a Kindle, along with a few quintessential romance novels featuring black heroines, and a gift certificate for the beauty and cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter!
To find the books, get a free excerpt book,
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About the Giveaway -
What Is It?The When Black Women Fall promo features romances in the contemporary, historical, paranormal, science fiction and fantasy, and erotica genres. The two requirements for inclusion are that the heroine must be of African/African-American descent, and she must fall in love: same race, interracial, LGBT, aliens, cyborg—doesn’t matter to us, as long as it’s a black woman falling in love!
For the week leading up to Valentine’s Day during Black History month, Heartspell Media is spreading the word about “When Black Women Fall” — a week-long promo featuring romances with African-American heroines.
When is it?
February 8-14, 2016. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day during Black History month.
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