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Shomari Wills, author of BLACK FORTUNES: The story of the first six African-Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires, joins me to talk about Mary Ellen Pleasant, a woman who loved Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and, oh yeah, just happened to be The Mother of Civil Rights in California. I spoke with Sho from his home in Brooklyn, NY a few weeks ago about his book and Mary, her work as a businesswoman and abolitionist, the folklore and rumors that plagued her life and death, the beautiful connection to Maya Angelou, and more. Find Sho on Twitter @showills and BLACK FORTUNES wherever books are sold. Please visit for a complete list of resources, supplemental material, and the recipe for The Cake of the Episode: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with—bonus!—Sweet Cream Lime Curd Ice Cream. Comments? Questions? A cake story to share? Reach out: Original music composed by Alejandro Pinto-Hernández

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