Black History Month

AAFSW Meets WCA — Monday, February 5, 2018


Every February, the Women’s Club of Arlington (WCA) celebrates Black History Month with a program. Approximately 60 children and teachers from Our Savior Lutheran School attended along with members and guests of WCA. AAFSW President, Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, and AAFSW/WCA member, Anne Kauzlarich, attended this annual program on Monday, February 5, 2018. Three re-enactors told of their lives as free women in the 1800s. Each woman had a different vocation and education. All were successful in life and an inspiration as they involved the children by asking and answering questions. The children were from 4th to 8th grade. The school asks the WCA each year about the program so they can prepare the children when they are about to study the Civil War.

This year the three re-enactors presented the lives of: Frances Anne Rollin (presented by Carol Gordon, retired teacher), Halle Quinn Brown (presented by Patricia Tyson, Department of State employee, retired, and former Sunday School teacher), and Dr. Rebecca Lee Davis Crumpler (presented by Sandra Wilson, administrative and clinic practitioner nurse).

Nineteenth Century writer Frances Anne Rollin is noted as the author of Life and Public Services of Martin R. Delany which upon appearing in 1868 became the first full-length biography written by an African American. Rollin also kept a diary in 1968 making it the earliest known diary by a southern black woman. During the Civil war, Frances Rollin attended The Quaker School for Colored Youth in Philadelphia where she began her career as a writer and a proponent of civil rights and feminism. After the war, Rollin returned to Charleston as a teacher for the Freedmen’s Bureau.

An educator, lecturer, author, founder, and reformer, Hallie Quinn Brown was born to former slaves around 1850 and passed away in 1949. After graduating from Wiberforce University in 1973, she embarked on an illustrated career in education. She taught in several schools and on plantations in the South; served as Dean of Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina and lady dean at Tuskegee Institute. She taught at public schools in Dayton, Ohio and opened her own night school for migrants from the South. Known as “Ms. Hallie,” she was one of the greatest elocutionists in Europe and America and spent three decades as a professor of elocution at Wiberforce University. She developed and organized the Colored Women’s League in Washington, DC and she was presented twice to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle as a guest and notable elocutionist.

Dr. Rebecca Lee Davis Crumpler was born a free woman in Delaware. She was raised by her aunt, a private nurse, in Philadelphia. At the age of 21, in 1852, Rebecca left Philadelphia to continue her private nursing career in Boston, MA. After eight years in the city, a group of local doctors raised enough money to send Rebecca to medical school. She graduated from New England Female College of Medicine in 1864. This made her the first African American female to graduate with the degree of Doctress of Medicine. In 1883, using her notes from the Freedmen’s Camps where she had worked and her practice, she became one of the first African Americans to publish a medical textbook, “A Book of Medical Discourse in Two Parts” on women’s health, prenatal care, and child rearing.

Anne Kauzlarich
AAFSW Art and Book Fair Chair
Women’s Club of Arlington Member