Analysis Of The Poem ' Wildfires ' Wildfire ' Essay

1601 WordsNov 3, 20167 Pages
Edmonia “Wildfire, Mary” Lewis is that to have been born in either Albany or Greenbush, New York between 1843-1845 sometime in July, and later died in London, England in 1907, though the exact location and year of her birth is still uncertain. This is in part due to her parentage as she was the daughter of a freed African-American father and a Chippewa Native American mother. Both Edmonia and her brother “Sunrise” were orphaned and left to grow up with her mom’s tribe. It was living with her mother’s sisters that Wildfire learned about her Native American traditions, customs, and history, including the Chippewa art styles. Her brother left the tribe for California and at age twelve so did Edmonia, though she remained in New York. It was in California that her brother became a gold miner, and used his money to pay for his sister’s early schooling in Albany, New York, and later her attendance to Oberlin College in Ohio in 1859. It was during her time at Oberlin that she formally changed her name from Chippewa forename of Wildfire into her English name of Mary Edmonia Lewis. Oberlin College was considered to be forward thinking and inclusive of diversity at the time that Lewis enrolled due in part to it being the first school in the national to be both coeducational and interracial. In fact, the school had been enrolling African American students since 1835 however, Edmonia’s stay at the college would rock the school and it’s so called “inclusiveness”. Unfortunately, Edmonia

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