Renaissance Women Virtual Tour – Day Eight

 

FOUNDER SPOTLIGHT

Jessie McGuire DentJessie McGuire Dent – A native of Texas, Jessie Dent was recognized for her many contributions to the Galveston community. She was instrumental in the integration of the Galveston Public School System. As a result of her efforts, her portrait was placed on permanent display in the Texas Cultural Archives.

The National Library Project
The sorority’s first nationwide effort to provide library services in the rural South was the National Library Project, which was authorized in 1937. It was implemented in 1945, with the goal of establishing a traveling library in the South where library services were not available for Blacks. The project arose from concerns that few adequate resources were available, outside of those provided by segregated school systems. In 1939, only ninety-four out of seven hundred and seventy-four public libraries served Blacks living in the South. Additionally, only five percent of Blacks living in rural areas had access to any public institution at all. The first traveling library was based in Franklin County, North Carolina where twenty-five book baskets containing thirty-five books were circulated.

Margaret Murray-WashingtonCalled “one of the greatest women of her century,” Margaret Murray-Washington (March 9, 1865- June 26, 1925) spoke to national audiences as first president of the National Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. But her greatest service came as a graduate of Fisk University and teacher at Tuskegee, where she founded country schools, taught women how to live and attend to their homes, worked for the improvement of prisons, started the Mt. Meigs school for boys and an industrial school for girls, and constantly worked for the betterment of the poor and neglected. Born in Macon, Mississippi, Ms. Murray married Booker T. Washington in 1893. She stood steadfastly beside her husband in making his dream of a great institute come true. A woman of great compassion, intelligence and independence of judgment, Mrs. Washington became one of the greatest forces at Tuskegee Institute and among African-American leaders and thinkers of the country.