An introduction to the life of Myrtilla Miner, a white woman who made groundbreaking achievements in education for African-American girls.
Born in poverty in 1815 to New York farmers, Miner was an unhealthy child who worked hard on the family farm. As she pursued schooling, she noticed stark differences in the education of girls versus that of boys. More interested in academics than homemaking, she became passionate about women’s right to equal education, writing letters to the governor of New York demanding change. An abolitionist and feminist, she accepted a teaching appointment in Mississippi with the goal of learning more about slavery and possible solutions. The horrors of slavery that she witnessed there and her disgust with the moral hypocrisy of slaveholders affected her greatly and ultimately determined her life’s work. Moving to Washington, D.C., she opened her School for Colored Girls in 1851, working to impart a high-quality education as well as ladylike manners. The school carried on in various forms, later becoming the Miner Teachers College, now part of Howard University. The text draws heavily on direct quotations from primary sources that bring individuals to life, and frequent one-page summaries of historical personalities, events, and movements provide further information.
Miner’s personality, experiences, and historical context are woven together to create a vivid picture of a remarkable and little-known woman’s achievements. (resources, notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)