Josephine Ruffin (August 31, 1842 – March 13, 1924), born Josephine St. Pierre, was an African American U.S. civil rights leader.
Ruffin was born in Boston. Her mother was an English born white woman and her father was a Martinique born man of African descent. John St. Pierre was a successful clothes dealer and founder of a Boston Zion church. He was able to afford a good education for his daughter. He objected to the segregated schools in Boston and so she was sent to Salem to be educated.
At the age of sixteen, she graduated from a Boston finishing school, completed two years in New York and married George Lewis Ruffin. He was the first African-American to graduate from Harvard Law School, and the first African American to serve on the Boston City Council, the Massachusetts state legislature, and as Boston's first black municipal judge.
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