Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907), a mixed-race woman bought her freedom in 1855 for $1200. Keckley was an accomplished dressmaker and went on to become the seamstress and confidante of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.
In 1862, Keckley established the Contraband Relief Organization, a women's organization that helped former slaves seek refuge in Washington D.C. In 1868, she published her autobiography Behind the Scenes; or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. Her public discussion of White House life was unprecedented and was roundly criticized as a salacious tell-all. Keckley was ostracized and the book was pulled from bookstores. She died in the Home for Destitute Colored Women & Children in 1907.
Here's my Mixed Experience Minute about Keckley.