January 24, 2013

We celebrate the life of Gladys Cook Bushrod

A most remarkable woman passed away this morning. Gladys Cook Bushrod, of Mason Neck, Fairfax County, Virginia. She would have turned 104 on the 9th of February.

Mother Bushrod's father-in-law, John Bushrod, was born into slavery in Fairfax County on June 8th 1862. Mother Bushrod was separated from slavery by just one generation.

Together with her late husband Courtney Bushrod, she raised their six children on Mason Neck. In the 1950s she petitioned the Fairfax County School Board for, and was granted, better school bus transportation for all the African American children on Mason Neck.

She was the matriarch of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lorton, Virginia for upwards of seven decades.

Mother Bushrod and her family were the focus of many of Gunston Hall's Seeds of Independence African American history programs, including the program that will be presented this February.

She was a community icon. She was a kind and generous woman. It was an honor to have known her.

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