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Williamsport scholar inspired women for a lifetime, but remains unheard of

Black Women in History

Williamsport scholar inspired women for a lifetime, but remains unheard of


March is Women’s History Month, and with that it is time to celebrate and learn more about the history that came before us. Julia C. Collins, wife, mother, essayist, teacher and author from Williamsport is almost unheard of with her history dating back to 1864, when she was appointed the teacher for black children in Williamsport.

However, the only information we have about Collins is from 1864 to 1865.

We don’t even know when Collins was born or her maiden name. “Collins” is the last name of her husband, Stephen Collins.

There is no information on where Collins was born or her parents, though Scholars’ have guessed that she was born a free woman in the North.

Today, a historical marker in honor of Collins stands down at the River Walk. It was put in June of 2010. The marker briefly describes her history for locals who may not know about Collins and her accomplishments including her novel, “The Curse of Caste” or the “The Slave Bride”— the first novel written by a black woman.

“The Curse of Caste” was published weekly in the Christian Recorder and the national newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church over eight months in 1865. Collins also published a series of nonfiction essays, one was an essay on teaching and one was on African American womanhood.

Unfortunately, Collins passed away from tuberculosis, leaving behind two children, in November of…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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