Book club examines lives of African American women pioneers

“African American Women of the Old West” by Tricia Martineau Wagner will be the subject of Arboretum Book Club Friday, 9 a.m. Aug. 3.

(Submitted photo)

“The brave pioneers who made a life on the frontier were not only male – and they were not only white. The stories of 10 African-American women are reconstructed from historic documents found in century-old archives,” according to a release about the book and upcoming event at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, 37615 E. Arboretum Way.

Some of these women were slaves; some were free; and some were born into slavery and found freedom in the old west.

The women include Biddy Mason, a slave who fought for her family’s freedom; Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood, a teacher determined to educate black children, and Mary Ellen Pleasant, a civil rights crusader and businesswoman, according to the release.

Attendance at the once-a-month meeting is included with $12.50 daily admission for adults who are not among annual arboretum members or do not have an Arizona State Parks annual pass.

To RSVP, email Vicki Johnson at

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