- Ella Williams, was born 10 months after slavery was abolished
- She was born Ella Grigsby but dropped her father's slave master's inherited name for Williams
- Ella was said to be 8 feet tall and the tallest black woman at the time
- Her height made her a national sensation in the Benin and was used as a side attraction during major shows globally
Born a free woman in 1865, Ella Williams, was an extraordinary woman whose parents were slaves but she was birthed just 10 months after slavery was abolished and her growing height made her a unique personality.
Ella Williams came into this world a "free child".
Her father's surname was Grigsby but when she grew up, she decided to drop her father's name and chose Williams instead, because Grigsby was the name of the slave master who once owned her parents.
Ella was 8 feet tall and her height is said to have started increasing mysteriously after she developed malaria when she turned 14.
Her extraordinary height drew a lot of attention and soon "show promoters" started approaching her with offers but she refused.
However, working as a black maid and a cook didn't earn her much so she changed her mind and a man named Frank C. Bostock became her manager.
With his help, Ella started touring Europe making appearances at shows where people paid to see "The African Giantess" because racism in America at the time was at its peak.
Ella started her tours from around 1896 and her stage name was"Abomah".
It was a name derived from "Abomey", a capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey, currently Benin.
Ella adored her native name so much and always preferred to be called by that throughout her career.
Her manager also "spiced" things up by saying she was a member of the Dahomey female warriors who was on a world tour.
This trick worked and drew more people to watch her.
Abomah continued touring the world and making appearances for a long period.
In August 1914, after Britain declared war on Germany, she had to cancel her tours and by March in 1915, she returned to America.
Things were very tough for her in her own country but she continued working as a side attraction at shows but the number of people who wanted to pay money to see the "Lady Giantess" dropped in the 1920s.
She did her best to survive and to hold on somehow, then suddenly she disappeared from the scene and the history books.
Nothing more is known of Abomah ‘‘The African Giantess’’ and nothing else is known of how she lived her last days.
There's no evidence that she ever got married or had any children.
But what is known is that, towards the last years of her 30 year career, she struggled a lot financially and looked very lonely.
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