When Mary A. Upperman came to Akron, Ohio, in 1916, she was a minister’s wife. But, with the untimely death of her husband, Upperman assumed a new identity, as an entrepreneur. She became perhaps the most influential african american women of her time. While growing her own financial business, she was giving back to her church commuinty and the youth of her congregation. Mary overcame racial struggles and sexism in the work place. Without her step towards women's equality, we would not have been able to achieve what we have in the past 100 years.