CLOSE
Leave a comment

Otelia Cromwell was the first Black woman to graduate from Smith College. She is also the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from Yale University, and today is the pioneering educator’s birthday.

Cromwell was born April 8, 1874 in Washington, D.C. After briefly attending Howard University and embarking on a teaching career, Cromwell traveled to Northampton, Mass. to enter Smith College and graduating with the class of 1900. She returned to the classroom before earning her master’s degree from Columbia University, and went on to obtain her Ph.D. in English from Yale in 1926.

She went on to teach at Miner Teachers College, eventually becoming head of its Literature department. The college employed Cromwell until her retirement in 1944. In retirement, Cromwell published a book on feminist activist, Quaker, and abolitionist, Lucretia Mott. She is also the aunt of Adelaide M. Cromwell, the first Black instructor at Smith College.

This November, Smith College will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Otelia Cromwell Day.

Cromwell passed on April 25, 1972.

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

Also On Black America Web:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
10 photos

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s