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Cromwell, Otelia  

Adelaide M. Cromwell

educator and scholar, was born in Washington, D.C., the first child of John Wesley Cromwell and Lucy McGuinn Cromwell. Her father was a lawyer, editor of the People's Advocate, and for most of his life a teacher and principal in the district public schools. Her mother died when she was twelve, leaving this eldest of six children with a responsibility for their welfare that she would exercise for the rest of her life. Cromwell received her education in the public schools of Washington, D.C., including the M Street High School, predecessor of the well-known Dunbar High School. After graduating from the Miner Normal School in Washington, she taught for six years in the public schools before entering Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. When she completed her degree in 1900 she became the college's first African American graduate.

Upon returning to the district, Cromwell once again taught in ...


Stanton, Alysa  

Camille A. Collins

rabbi, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, into a Pentecostal family and spent her early years in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. On 6 June 2009 she was ordained by Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, and became the first African American woman to become a rabbi in either of the primary mainstream branches of Judaism (Reform and Conservative) most prevalent in the United States.

Stanton was six when her family moved to Cleveland Heights, and from an early age she was intrigued by spiritual matters. As a young child she asked her uncle Edward, a Catholic who sometimes attended services at a local synagogue, about the purpose of the mezuzot parchment scrolls with inscriptions from the Torah hanging from the front doors of many homes in the neighborhood This same uncle also presented her with her first Hebrew grammar book Although she grew up attending Pentecostal ...


Watkins, Mark Hanna  

Charles Rosenberg

by all available evidence the first American of African descent to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology, was a founding father of that science as it became an organized professional field in America, and a leading pioneer in the development of linguistics, doing field research in Haiti, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and southern Africa. His wide range of professional affiliations included the American Anthropological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Sociological Association, the International African Institute, and the International Linguistic Association. In 1933, he was one of the first three African Americans admitted to the Society of Sigma Xi (Wright, p. 889).

Born in Huntsville, Texas, he was the son of Walter Watkins, a Baptist minister, and Laura Williams Watkins (Wright), whose Republican politics are reflected in naming their son for the party leader and wealthy Ohio senator, Mark Hanna He was the youngest ...