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date: 17 January 2021

Young, Rosa Jinsey locked

(14 May 1890–30 June 1971),
  • Lawrence R. Rast


Lutheran educator and founder of schools for African Americans, was born in Rosebud, Wilcox County, Alabama, the fourth of ten children of the Reverend Grant Young, an itinerant minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and his wife Nancy, whose maiden name is unknown. The poverty so common in rural Alabama at the time defined Rosa's early life, as she and her siblings picked cotton to supplement their father's meager income. Determined that their children would have opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, Young's parents provided for their children's education. Rosa out-performed her siblings, gaining the title of “family teacher.” After finishing public school Rosa attended Payne University in Selma, Alabama, where she distinguished herself by becoming the valedictorian of her class. She titled her valedictory, delivered on 1 June 1909 Serve the People In it she encapsulated what became her life s work Education she ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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