Photo Credit: Jamie Kelter Davis Photography



Meet Mary Scott-Boria

Mary is a 67 year-old, black woman with a 10 year-old heart. She grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan just a mile away from the burial site of Sojourner Truth. Mary is sure Sojourner’s spirit is in her soul. She has 5 children and the gift of 9 grandchildren. Mary has taught undergraduates for almost 20 years, but also spent her earlier and formative years as social worker, anti-rape activist/youth worker, and urban planner. She is a badass crafter too.


Who is your favorite literary character?

My favorite literary character would be Janie Starks in Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God.  She was a badass woman striving to find her independence but gets trapped in the web of male power. She ends up free and self-sufficient.

Who helped you get here?

Lots of people. First of all, my grandma, Addie Pearl Scott. Her values are dug deep down in my soul.  My mother, who was troubled herself, absolutely always believed in me. As a pregnant teenager she told me that absolutely nothing was going to stop me from getting a college education. She never babysat for me (she insisted that I take responsibility for my child) but she encouraged the hell out of me to work hard and take responsibility for my life. She was a feminist all her life and she died modeling a great big, compassionate, nonjudgmental, heart and lifestyle. My sister Yvonne, and my friend and colleague Dorothy Burge, made me know that I could be a crafter/artist.

What was your greatest purchase?

My greatest purchase!  My first new car, a brand new green Subaru bought the very first year they came out. I paid $2,400 brand new with $50 a month payments, 48 years ago. Whew that was a lot of money in 1971! Forty five years later I bought my second Subaru.....$350 per month. Boy things have changed.

If you were going to change careers, what would you do?

If I could change careers I would be a carpenter.  A woman friend of mine gave up a professional career to become a carpenter many years ago. I was always impressed with her ability to just make all kinds of shit. That’s what I wanted to do... make all kinds of shit.  I love power tools.

What is the smartest thing you have ever said?

“You don’t appreciate history ‘til you get one.”  I love genealogy and through it have come to appreciate history in general. I love uncovering the connections between the past and the current. But as long as history is abstract, it seems not to have relevance. Once we tie the past to us personally, history make sense and we can take charge of our futures.


Want more? Follow this amazing woman on Instagram


Also, I had to include the cuteness that is this photo of Mary and Dorothy Burge (upcoming SBW) because...I mean look at it!