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Dianne Dentice

teacher, home economist, administrator, and civil rights activist, was born in Harrison, Texas, to Jeff D. and Meddie Lillian Estelle Allen. She was the oldest of their three children. Jeffie's father was an early graduate of Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College, established in 1876, and both her mother and maternal grandmother were teachers. When Jeffie was eleven years old her parents sent her to Mary Allen Seminary in Crocket, Texas, a school founded by Presbyterians in 1886 for the education of black girls. Her mother, an alumna of the school, considered it superior to the segregated public schools of the time. After two years at the seminary Jeffie scored exceedingly high marks on her entrance exams for Prairie View and began college as a thirteen-year-old sophomore in 1912. In 1914, at the age of fifteen, she graduated with a teaching certificate.

Conner began her ...

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Debra A. Reid

teacher, home demonstration agent, and administrator, was born in Finchburg, Alabama, to Elijah E. and Frances (Moore) Edwards. Mary Evelyn V. Edwards was the fifteenth of their seventeen children, and she worked as a bookkeeper at her father's store, sawmill, and gin. She was a senior in the local high school when she married J. A. Hunter, the high school principal. The couple moved first to Woodville, Texas, and then relocated to La Porte, Texas, where they leased a ranch on Jennings Island. They had two sons, John McNeile Hunter in 1901 and Ira T. Hunter in 1905. M. E. V. Hunter taught school, and after her husband's death in the early 1910s, she began taking courses at Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (later Prairie View A&M) to gain teaching credentials. She ultimately earned a BS from that school in 1926 ...

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Anita Nahal

home economist and university professor, was born in Henderson, North Carolina, to James Lee Kittrell, a farmer, and Alice Mills Kittrell, a homemaker and possibly a farmworker. Both were of Cherokee Indian and African American descent. The seventh of nine siblings and the youngest daughter, Kittrell attended school in Vance County, North Carolina, and received her BS degree in 1928 from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Virginia. In 1930 she earned a master's and in 1938 a PhD, both from Cornell University. The first African American woman to receive a doctorate in home economics, Kittrell became an influential educator, nutritionist, and philanthropist, a true renaissance woman who epitomized leadership, wisdom, and progressive qualities in her life.

Kittrell was widely published and received many scholarships and awards during her academic career These included the Rosenwald Scholarship the General Education Board Scholarship the Anna Cora Smith Scholarship and ...

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Diane Epstein

Dr Flemmie Kittrell was the first African American woman to receive high honors in the general field of home economics and science a term which she put into use and which encompasses nutrition child development and related sciences She was the first African American to receive a doctorate from Cornell University she accomplished this in the 1920s when few black women went on to receive advanced degrees She received her PhD with honors and there is a home sciences building on the Cornell campus named for her Her accomplishments were noted not just because of her academic excellence but because she was instrumental in the actual building of the structure Further her ideas added to the development of the new home sciences curriculum Kittrell traveled down paths that even few white women would have considered at the time More than just her scholarship distinguished her she had the daring to ...

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Denyce Porter Peyton

educator and home economist, was born Fanny Smith in Malden, Kanawha County, West Virginia, the daughter of Samuel Smith and Celia. Historical accounts of Fanny Smith do not disclose much detail about her family, for instance whether or not she had siblings. Fanny grew up in Malden, West Virginia, where after the Civil War she became acquainted with Booker T. Washington, whose family settled there after emancipation. Washington began his studies at Hampton Institute in Virginia in 1872 and graduated in 1875. He returned to West Virginia and was Fanny's teacher in Malden, where he taught approximately eighty to ninety students in a day program from 1875 to 1878. Fanny and a few Malden schoolmates, assisted by Washington, gained admittance to Hampton Institute some time before 1878. This small group of students was known primarily as “Booker Washington's boys” (Harlan, 76). Fanny s ...