Pioneering educator Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879-1961) sometime in the 1910s. Born in Orange, Virginia, Ms. Burroughs graduated with honors from the Colored High School, which would later become M Street School and then Dunbar High School. Best know as the founder of the National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls, Ms. Burroughs was an early advocate for teaching African American History and students had to pass a course in black history in order to graduate. A member of the National Association of Colored Women among other civic and religious advocacy groups, Ms. Burroughs was appointed to a special committee on African Americans and housing by President Herbert Hoover. Also a leader in religion, she helped found the Women’s Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention.
Ms. Burroughs also had a special connection to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. A longtime friend of his parents, Ms. Burroughs wrote a letter to Dr. King’s mother, Mrs. Alberta King on February 4, 1956 during the course of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and told her how impressed she was with the “calm, sure way that Junior is standing up for right and righteousness.” Photo: The Library of Congress