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Over the decades, her sister, three brothers and a couple of hundred more people journeyed north from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, stopping to sleep on her sofa or spare bed until they saved enough money for a place of their own. Mrs. White’s South Side home was their portal to where African-Americans seemed to be able to get ahead.

“She was the Harriet Tubman of our family,” said her granddaughter Jaquie Algee. “Everyone, literally, who came to Chicago came to her house.”

Mrs. White, 102, died Monday at the Roseland home of her daughter Ann Anderson.

Leola White, African American History, Black History, Great Migration, Civil Rights, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).