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date: 05 August 2020

Taylor, Rebecca Stiles locked

(Aug. 1879–7 Dec. 1958), educator, clubwoman, and journalist,
  • Donna L. Halper


was born Rebecca Stiles in Savannah, Georgia; the exact date of her birth is unknown. She was one of at least eight children of Henry Stiles, who worked in a cotton press and Maria (Hoag) Stiles. The 1880 U.S. Census records that Rebecca was eight months old living with her parents and sisters Ann, two, and Sophia, four. The census taker assigned the family the racial category of “mulatto.” Little else is known about her childhood. She graduated from the Beach Institute in Savannah in 1896 and then attended Atlanta University during 1896–1897, taking the teacher training course. Online sources say she also attended Hampton Institute and Columbia University, but archivists at both colleges have no record of her attendance.

Upon returning to Savannah she taught English at several of the city’s segregated schools, eventually becoming Georgia’s first state supervisor of black primary education. On 15 August 1908 ...

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

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