How Women Used Christmas to Fight Slavery

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In 1834, men and women—African American and white—of William Lloyd Garrison’s newly formed Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society saw Christmas as an opportunity to expose a republic that proclaimed liberty yet held millions as slaves. Women assumed the lead, boldly defying a society that denied them a public voice or political opinions. To finance the abolition cause, these women organized Christmas bazaars that sold donated gifts, and trumpeted anti-slavery messages in the name of the prince of peace and emancipation.