Day 16


If John Henry has a folk song this woman needs one too! 

Introducing Stagecoach Mary a.k.a. Mary Fields a.k.a. Black Mary.

At 60-years old she was the fastest person - man or woman - in the state of Montana to hitch a team of six horses to a coach.  She was the first Black woman to earn a US Postal Service contract.  She drove that team of horses for eight years, through rough and wild territories of the West.  In the winter, the snow was so deep that she’d leave the horses behind and carry-on with the mail on her back. She never missed a day. Not a single day.  She carried a shotgun to demand respect.  She once got kicked out of a Catholic convent for using it.  When the law banned women from drinking in saloons, she got an exception from the mayor.  

“I fight through rainstorms...snowstorms ...risk hurricanes and tornadoes. I like to be rough. I like to be rowdy. I also like to be loving ...caring."  We are the daughters of hard and soft. ...that edge hitting a soft breeze.  We are electric.  The storm of possibility.  Like the clap of Juneteenth in the middle of a global meltdown.  Like the swirl and swagger of Mary Fields. 

"I do bold and exciting things," she confessed. 

Cheers foremother.  Cheers!

(She needs her own folk song.)



Day 16: We are the #DaughtersOf Stagecoach Mary

Join us as we celebrate a larger than life woman. She's known as the first African-American woman mail carrier in the United States. She was equal parts, high-society entrepreneur, and down-and-dirty gunslinger.  Her legendary character has been celebrated on film, played by Esther Rolle, Dawnn Lewis, Kimberly Elise, and Erykah Badu. Let’s learn more about our hero and celebrate all of the frontline responders - who show up for us - day in and day out. 



Walk and Talk
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Use #blackhistorybootcamp to join the juiciest conversation on Twitter.

- What does a life of adventure look like for you?

- What does "high adventure" even look like for Black women?  Is the concept; colonial, privileged, and foreign?  Like, should we be rock climbing and white water rafting?

- Mary Field had four distinct careers, if you could switch careers, what would you do?

- Where in your life can you turn the ordinary into the extraordinary?

- There is a Zen proverb that says, "Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.” Black women have BEEN mastered this. Mary was a gunslinger by day and caretaker by night. How do we continue to cultivate both so we can go ahead and vibrate out of this whack dimension? 


Photo: Kimberly Elise as Stagecoach Mary


- MUSIC: Please don't miss this Black rodeo-inspired, Daughters of Stagecoach Mary, Spotify playlist for your walk. 

- FILMS: Everybody loves Esther Rolle, but her depiction of Stagecoach Mary at the 9-min mark in this1970s documentary looks just like the episode of Good Times when the bus broke down. Erykah in the film trailer for They Die By Dawn is equally juicy.

- FOR KIDS: There is a children's book you can grab for your girls called, Fearless Mary: The True Adventures of Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles.

- ACTION:  Thank a Black woman that works in the service industry today.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Coronavirus is still killing Black people disproportionately.  Please do not gather or walk in groups until we flatten the curve in our communities. Do not trust policy over the protection of Black lives. To support mental health, we invite you to walk virtually with us each day.  This is a solo training mission to build your own discipline, fortitude, and physical strength for the days ahead.  Please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands when you return home.


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Did you miss any of the powerful content provided in the past weeks? Catch up here. Listen to the Walk & Talks hosted by co-founders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison on Spotify or Apple podcast.


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