Prepare for a visit to AAMLO with these special topic resource guides.
This resource guide is intended to help users locate holdings at AAMLO related to the history of African American educators and education.
It highlights holdings in the following areas:
● Selected Library Material at AAMLO
● Selected Archival Collections at AAMLO
Other collections may contain relevant materials. Please contact AAMLO (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or to schedule an appointment to view materials in person.
Selected Library Materials
Selected Archival Collections
Flood Family Papers. When her son was not allowed to attend Sacramento's public school, Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood (1828-1867) established the first school for African American students in the city. The school was founded in the family home on May 29, 1854, and in 1855 opened as part of the Sacramento school system. After moving to Oakland, the family opened a private school in 1857 at their home at 1334 East 15th Street where they taught the community’s African American children who, at the time, had no access to the city’s public schools. The school eventually moved to the African Methodist Church in 1863 and operated for three years before closing in 1866. [View online]
First African Methodist Episcopal Church (Oakland, Calif.) Collection. The First African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E) Church of Oakland began in 1858 by a small group of residents, and is the oldest African American church in Oakland.
Jeremiah Burke Sanderson (1821-1875), civil rights and equal education activist, was the first appointed minister of the First A.M.E. Church of Oakland. Sanderson had previously taught at Sacramento's publicly funded school for African American students, and had served as principal at San Francisco’s Broadway School for African American children. By 1868, he was teaching in Stockton, California, and in 1871 was appointed vice president of the “District Educational Convention” held to discuss the education of children of color in the state.
The First A.M.E. of Oakland church founders had purchased the Carpenter School House in 1863, which became the first church building. At this time the church was called Shiloh A.M.E. Church, and it also acted as a school for African American students; the teacher was A.M.E. church founder, Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Photograph Collection. Includes class photographs of the Brooklyn Colored School, which served African American children from the town of Brooklyn, as well as Oakland from 1867 to 1871 The class is shown with teacher Mary J. Sanderson (1851-1933), first African American school teacher in Oakland, and the daughter of Rev. Jeremiah Burke Sanderson. Other photographs depict members of the Sanderson family, including Kate Grasses, daughter of Mary J. Sanderson. Also included are various photographs depicting school administrators and documenting the history of various schools in Oakland and the Bay Area, circa 1910s-present.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Vertical Files. Notable selected items include
- Reports of cases determined in the Supreme Court of the State of California Wysinger v. Crookshank
- Program of an exhibition by the Colored School of Brooklyn, Alameda County (1870)
- Ida L. Jackson's credential in school administration (1936)
- various items including research writing, programs, flyers, correspondence, and ephemera related to the history of African American education in California
Ida L. Jackson Papers. After graduating with a B.A in 1922 and M.A from UC Berkeley in 1923, Ida Jackson (1902-1996) was repeatedly denied teaching positions in the Oakland public school system. Jackson then became one of the first certified African American high school teachers in California at the racially segregated East Side High School in El Cerrito. In 1925 Jackson fought for and received a long term assignment at Oakland’s Prescott Intermediate School, becoming the first African American teacher in the Oakland Public Schools. Jackson also served as the Dean of Women at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and assisted Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in the organization of the National Council of Negro Women, of which Jackson was a lifetime member. In 1953 Jackson retired from teaching in Oakland. The Ida L. Jackson papers encompass certificates, pamphlets, programs, correspondence, and photographs documenting her activities as the first African American public school teacher in Oakland and as the founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority on the West Coast.
Stephens Family Papers. After receiving a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1924, Virginia Stephens (1903-1986) became the first African American woman to receive a law degree from University of California Berkeley's Boalt School of Law in 1929. While at Berkeley, Virginia also helped Ida L. Jackson found Rho Chapter in 1921 and Alpha Nu Omega, a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha. These were among the first Greek sororities for African American women west of the Mississippi. [View online]
Ruth Acty Papers. Educator, author, and actor Ruth Acty (1913-1998) was the first African American teacher hired by the Berkeley Unified School District in 1943. Over the course of her career, she worked within the Berkeley Unified School District at various schools, including Lincoln School, Garfield Junior High School, Burbank Junior High School, and Berkeley Adult School as a drama, English, French, and English as a Foreign Language teacher until her retirement in 1991. The Ruth Acty papers include curriculum material, teaching notes, writings, photographs, awards, legal and financial records, and correspondence that document her life and activities as a teacher and author.
Gladys Jordan Papers. Educator Gladys Meriwether Jordan was born November 16, 1910. She was the first African American woman to teach at Emeryville High School, and worked there from 1966 until her retirement in 1975. She was awarded “Teacher of the Year” in 1974. Students of her Emeryville High School Negro History class would go on to join the Black Panther Party. The Gladys Jordan papers include teaching notes, lesson plans, school study aids, bibliographies, class handouts, brochures, attendance bulletins, and ephemera related to Jordan's work providing African American history content for primary and secondary education. An interview with Glady Jordan is also found in the African American Museum & Library at Oakland Oral History Collection.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Advisory Committee Audio Recordings Collection. Includes an interview with Mrs. Croslyn, former teacher at Allensworth school, sharing her recollections of moving to the town, the school, and the Hackett and Phillips family. [Online item]
Oakland Unified School District Newsletter Collection. The Oakland Unified School District Newsletter Collection consists of 19 issues of the New Directions (1966-1969) and Urban Education (1969-1971) newsletters. The newsletters were published by the Oakland Unified School District with federal funds from the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA). [View online]
Marcus A. Foster Collection. Dr. Marcus A. Foster (1923-1973) was a a progressive, innovative educator who rose to national prominence as the first African American superintendent of schools in Oakland, California. The collection spans the years 1941-1975, and includes administrative documents, professional certifications, printed materials, photographs, newspaper articles and ceremonial attire, with the bulk of the material pertaining to the years 1968-1974.
Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers. As a representative of Richmond CORE, Bello participated in the 1966 Civil Rights Training Institute for the purpose of helping the public become better informed on the problem of de facto segregation in the Richmond Unified School District. Bello was invited on the basis of her activities in the Richmond Unified School District and with Richmond CORE to enroll in the Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation offered through the University of California Extension beginning in 1966. Federally funded, the two-year Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation program was directed by Dr. Marie Fielder, pioneering educator and civil rights leader.
Lawrence P. Crouchett Papers. In 1962, Crouchett (1922-1993) joined the faculty of Diablo Valley College as an instructor of United States History. As an historian and educator, Crouchett prepared extensive bibliographies on African American history and through lectures and publications. Crouchett worked to integrate ethnic studies into the general education curriculum of public schools and colleges through the preparation of teacher's handbooks and the revision of curricular and instructional programs.
Mildred Pitts Walter Papers. The papers of author, activist, and educator Mildred Pitts Walter (1922- ) document Mildred and Earl Walter’s participation in civil rights protests in Los Angeles in the 1960s as part of the Los Angeles branch of CORE and as parents in the 1965 struggle against the Los Angeles Board of Education.
Electra Kimble Price Collection. In 1977 Electra Kimble Price (1926-) earned her State of California Teaching Credential. In the course of her career in public education, she worked as an instructor, director, consultant, administrator and assistant dean, as well as a public speaker
W. Hazaiah Williams Papers. The W. Hazaiah Williams Papers consists of the administrative files of the Center for Urban-Black Studies and assorted subject files, photographs, notebooks, and printed material documenting the career of theologian, civil rights activist, and educator William Hazaiah Williams Jr. (1930-1999). Also included are papers documenting his work with the Berkeley Board of Education with files pertaining to Black staff at Berkeley Unified School District (circa 1969) and Black House School (1970-1972).
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