Saturday, February 7, 2015

Famous Black Firsts: First Female Principal Fanny Jackson Coppin

Fanny Jackson Coppin was born on January 8th, 1837. Her freedom was bought by an aunt when she was 12 years old. Let that sink in for a moment. She spent the rest of her young years working as a servant for an author and studying when she could. In 1860 she got into Oberlin College in Ohio which was the first college in the US to accept Black make and female students. Yeah. She had to deal with being Black as well as a woman back then. While studying as a student she taught reading and writing to Black students before graduating with a Bachelor's degree. 

Afterward she got a position at Philadelphia's Institute for Colored Youth and it was here where she became the first Black female school principal. She was promoted to the board of education to superintendent making her the first Black superintendent of a school in America but eventually went back to being a principal. She eventually married a reverend and in 1902 they headed to South Africa for missionary work. After about ten years her health forced here to come back to Philadelphia. Crazy how whenever I had female principals it just seemed totally normal. I never stopped to think that someone had to be the first one as well as the first Black one.

Click here for previous Famous Black Firsts.  

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