Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary and Black Mary, was the first African-American female star route mail carrier in the United States. Two other women, Susanna A. Brunner in New York and Minnie Westman in Oregon, were known to be White mail carriers in the 1880s.
Born as a slave in Tennessee during the administration of Andrew Jackson, Mary was sixty years old in 1895 when she became the second woman and first Black person to ever work for the U.S. Post Office. Over the next six years, Mary and her pet eagle rode her stagecoach all over Montana and never missed a day of work, never failed to deliver mail and was never late once.
This story is so inspirational and empowering for readers of all ages. America was built in part by mail carriers and truckers, the people who move goods and products from place to place. Writer Tami Charles brilliantly explores the history of a woman whose contributions to the mail carrier industry was overlooked for years. I’m so grateful for historical picture book biographies like Fearless Mary that expose hidden figures like Mary Fields to ensure their stories are told to younger generations. It’s great for reading during Black History Month, Women’s History Month, or anytime of the year. Recommended age range: 5-7 years and up.
Your turn: Have you read this book yet with your little readers? Feel free to share in the comments.