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*Gertrude Mossell was born on this date in 1855. She was a Black feminist, journalist, and educator.
She was born in Philadelphia; her aunt was Grace Bustill Douglass, and her great-grandfather, Cyrus Bustill, served as a baker in George Washington's troops. Both were abolitionists.
worked as a teacher for several years before becoming a journalist in the early 1870s. She wrote columns and articles for many black newspapers, including the Indianapolis World, the Philadelphia Echo, the Richmond Rankin Institute, Our Women and Children, and Woman's Era. She also wrote for white newspapers and magazines such as the Ladies Home Journal, The Philadelphia Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Philadelphia Press.
In December 1885, Mossell began writing a column titled "The Woman's Department" for The New York Age, the leading African American newspaper in the United States. The first woman's column published in a Black newspaper was used to advocate for equal rights for women and appeared in The Freeman until 1886.
Mossell was also one of the first to recommend that newsboys be used to distributing papers in black communities and to suggest that a Black newspaper syndicate similar to the Associated Press be established. Such an organization was established in 1919 when the Associated Negro Press was founded. Gertrude Mossell died in Philadelphia on January 21, 1948.
Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York