Archive for February 19th, 2019

Thank you Sumner School Museum and Archives for hosting “Lost History of Frederick Douglass and DC Public Schools”

Image may contain: 1 personThe tradition, legacy and history of DC Public Schools is of national consequence. In the immediate years following the Civil War a citywide public school system was formalized and organized for “colored children.”

Dr. Frederick Douglass and the Douglass Family were steadfast supporters and advocates for the entirety of the school system from its teachers to its students to its administrators to its philanthropic benefactors to its supporters in the US House and US Senate.

Dr. Douglass, a former night school teacher in Baltimore, lectured to support night schools in Washington City. Charles Douglass, the youngest Douglass son, was a night school teacher in Old Barry Farm. Virginia Douglass, wife of Frederick Douglass, Jr., served as a principal in Old Anacostia.

The Douglassess supported DC Public Schools and were thusly integral in elevating DCPS in its importance both locally and nationally to the educational and social uplifting of African-Americans. The first African-American graduate of Harvard, the first four African-American women to obtain a doctorate and Carter G. Woodson are just some of those who either attended or educated within the DC Public School System. Haley George Douglass, the Harvard-educated grandson of Dr. Douglass, taught at Dunbar Senior High School for four decades.

We extend our sincerest appreciation for the work of Director Kimberly Springle of the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives and for the opportunity to present on a topic of great personal interest.

Editor’s Note:

On the backroads of Sandy Spring are families and tribes who family lore tells of ancestors being taught be Emily Edmonson Johnson, a friend of Dr. Douglass and teacher at Miner Normal School. I attended school with the descendants of those taught by Mrs. E. Edmonson Johnson so therefore it is my obligation to uplift the fallen and lost history.

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