Celebrating Ann on Women’s History Month

My mother Ann as a teenager.
Mom in her natural hair with me and my sister.
This is the photo my grandfather James Richards kept of his mother Annie Biggs Richards.
Headstone for my great grandmother Sarah Ann “Annie” Biggs Richards at Oaklawn Cemetery in Suffolk, VA.
Freedman’s Bureau records for my third great grandmother Sarah Ann Biggs. She was born enslaved around 1848, then as an adult, post-emancipation, became a teacher in Windsor, Bertie, NC from 1865–1870. By 1880 she’d moved to Suffolk, VA as a teacher. She was likely able to pursue teaching post-emancipation because as a “house slave” she learned how to read and write. From this she dedicated herself to teaching fellow formerly enslaved to read and write too. This is a Freedman’s Bureau receipt covering rent for the Bertie County school house where she taught, which includes a special treat — her actual signature. I am so thankful to learn this history on her and see this.
My wife and her mother Annette on our wedding day.

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