Kanye West had an eventful few days in New York City.
In 1859, Still was crucial in the desegregation of Philadelphia's streetcars. Blacks had to pay the full fare yet had to ride on the outside of the car. Still wrote a letter to the press, which focused international attention on this racist practice. In 1867, Pennsylvania legally banned segregation on its streetcars.
For 14 years, the humble Philadelphia businessman tirelessly helped as many runaways as he could get to Freedom's Land, and committed himself to making sure that their stories would not go untold. In 1872, he published "The Underground Railroad," which remains the most definitive account of the slave exodus. The book, which is based on Still's meticulous records and diaries, contains the best evidence of the structure and workings of the Underground Railroad, as well as details of those who used it, where they came from, how they escaped and the families they left behind.
"The heroism and desperate struggle that many of our people had to endure, under the terrible oppression that they were under, should be kept green in the memory of this and coming generations.
"It was my good fortune to lend a helping hand to the weary travelers flying from the land of bondage."
William Still died on July 14, 1902.
This Week in Black History