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21 September 2009

Georgia Black (1906 - 1951) housewife.

George Cantey ran away from grueling field work in 1921 and went to Charleston, South Carolina. He was taken on as a servant by a gay man who encourage him to dress as female, and coached his mannerisms.

This suited Georgia, and she continued as Georgia after he dumped her. In Winter Gardens. Florida, she met Alonzo Sabbe, who was seriously ill. She nursed him back to health. He then asked her to marry him. A cousin of Sabbe abandoned her three-year-old child, and Alonzo and Georgia adopted him.

Alonzo died soon after, and Georgia Sabbe then married Muster Black in Sanford, Florida. Muster died seven years later but left Georgia his Veterans pension.

Georgia was outed only on her her own death bed when her doctor examined her more closely. The Police Chief, taking her to have been masquerading, did a background check on her, but found nothing. Many people in Sanford refused to believe that Georgia was not a woman, and the others criticized the doctor for his lack of discretion, and the local paper for running the story on the front page. Her son, who grew up to be steelworker in Pennsylvania, was as surprised as anyone.
  • “The Man who Lived 30 years as a Woman”. “Townsfolk Wonder About Married Life”. Ebony. Oct 1951.

    A pioneer who is largely forgotten.   Quite a lot of our pioneers in the US were black, which is another fact that is often overlooked.

    Georgia is second from the left on the front row in the group photograph.


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