Names of many of the District's schools reflect the contributions of blacks to the city and nation. The following D.C. public elementary schools are named for black leaders.
Bowen, Delaware Avenue and M Street SW: Named for Anthony Bowen, a clergyman who was born a slave here about 1809. He learned to read, write and cipher and taught free black children how to read and write in his Sunday school. Died here about 1871.
Burce-Monroe, 3012 Georgia Ave. NW: Named for Blanche K. Bruce, a United States senator who was born a slave in Prince Edward County, Va., in 1841. He organized and taught a school for black children in Hannibal, Mo. and became sergeant-at-arms of the state legislature in Mississippi. In 1875 he was elected to the U. S. Senate, where he served until 1881. He later became registrar of the Treasury, recorder of deeds, a trustee of Howard University and a trustee of the public schools in the District. Died in 1898.
Carver, 45th and Lee streets NE: Named for educator, botanist and agricultural scientist George Washington Carver. Born the son of slave parents about 1864, he graduated from Iowa State College and began his work at Tuskegee in 1896. For more than 40 years, he taught and conducted research there, developing more than 300 products from peanuts, 118 products from sweet potatoes, and products from cotton, waste materials and clays. From 1935 until his death in 1943, he was a collaborator in the division of mycology and disease survey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He helped develop a cure for infantile paralysis.
Clark, 7th and Webster streets NW: Named for Eugene A. Clark, who was born here in 1883, and taught and served as principal in District schools until being appointed assistant super-intendent in charge of elementary schools. He became the first president of the Miner Teachers College, where he encouraged teachers to do advanced study to keep informed on current educational policies.He was also a member of various civic, religious and educational organizations, and was honored by Pope John XXIII with the Knight of St. Gregory Medal, one of the highest honors any layman could achieve. Died in 1962.
Cook, P Street between North Capitol and First streets NW: Named for John F. Cook Sr., a clergyman and educator who was born here about 1810. He maintained a school here, called Columbian Institute, for free black children; helped organize Union Bethel Church and was organizer and first pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church. Died in 1855.
Drew, 56th and Eads streets NE: Named for Dr. Charles Richard Drew, an athlete, coach, administrator, teacher, surgeon and trainer of surgeons. Born here in 1904, he was a graduate of Dunbar High School, Amherst College and the medical school at McGill University. He coached football for two years at Morgan State College in Baltimore, was an instructor of pathology and head of surgery at the Medical School of Howard University, and chief surgeon and chief of staff at Freedmen's Hospital. He was medical director of the Blood for Britain project, and his work served as a guide for later developments in the production of plasma for the armies of the United States and her allies. When that project ended in 1941, he was appointed director of the first American Red Cross Blood Bank. Died in 1950.
Fletcher-Johnson, Benning Road and C Street NE: Named for Evelyn B. Fletcher and Dr. Phillip T. Johnson. Fletcher, born in 1875, was an educator in the D.C. public schools for almost half a century. A reading expert, she taught demonstration lessons for new teachers here and for practice students in D.C. Teachers College. She was also an ardent civic and church worker and helped to establish a fund for teachers who were not entitled to an annuity upon retirement. She died in 1960.
Johnson, born here in 1899, was chief of orthopedic surgery and director of the physical therapy department at Freedmen's Hospital; head of the orthopedic division at the School of Medicine of Howard University, and the founder and director of the Johnson-Robinson Clinic here. A graduate of Dunbar High School, he was also active in community and civic affairs. He was a member of the D. C. Board of Education, president of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations and the Northeast Boundary Civic Association. Died in 1970. a
Gibbs, 18th and E streets NE: Named for Dr. Mildred E. Gibbs, who was a progressive educator in public schools here for approximately 52 years. A graduate of Washington High and Normal Schools, she taught and held principalships in many elementary schools here. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Howard University while principal of the Sumner school. She died in 1935.
Houston, 1100 50th St. NW: Named for Charles Hamilton Houston. An attorney and humanitarian who was born in the District in 1895, he pioneered the movement to bring about integration of public schools here. A graduate of M Street High School (now Dunbar), he furthered his education at Amherst College, Howard University and the University of Madrid. He served as vice dean of the School of Law at Howard, was a member of the D.C. Board of Education, was special counsel for the NAACP, and served on the President's Committee on Fair Empolyment Practices.
Langston, P Street between North Capitol and First streets NW: Named for John Mercer Langston, a lawyer and representative in Congress from Virginia who was born in 1829 in Louisa County, Va. He served as dean of Howard University law school and vice president and acting president of Howard; a member of the D.C. Board of Health; minister resident and consul general to Haiti; charge d'affaires to Santo Domingo, and president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute at Petersburg, Va. He served in the 51st Congress from 1890 to 1891. Died here in 1897.
Malcolm X, Alabama Avenue and Congress Place SE: Named for Malcolm X, who was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb., in 1925. While serving a 10-year prison term which began in 1946, he was converted to the Black Muslim sect headed by Elijah Muhammad. After he was paroled from prison in 1952, he became an outspoken defender of Muslim doctrines and made several provocative statements to predominantly white civic groups and college students. He was suspended from the Black Muslim movement by Elijah Muhammad after making an inflamatory statement concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy and soon formed his own protest group, the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He was an advocate of self-help, self-defense and education. He was murdered in 1965.
Merritt, 50th and Hayes streets NE: Named for Emma F.G. Merritt, a teacher and administrator in D.C. schools for more than half a century. Born in Virginia, she was brought by her parents to the District at three years of age and graduated from high school here in 1875. She was chosen in 1897 to organize and conduct the Office of Director of Primary Instruction in elementary schools for black children. She held that position for 29 years. In addition to her work with schools, she taught and lectured widely. As a civic leader, she organized and directed the local Teachers Benefit and Annuity Association and was local president of the NAACP.
Montgomery, P Street, between 5th Street and New Jersey Avenue NW: Named for Dr. Winfield Scott Montgomery, a long-time educator here. Born in 1853, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College. He served as teacher, principal, supervising principal and assistant superintendent in charge of black schools in the District for approximately 33 years. He also received an M.D. degree from Howard University Medical School in 1890.
Moten, Evans and Morris roads SE: Named for Dr. Lucy Ellen Moten, born in 1851 in Fauquier County. An educator who studied at Howard University and the Normal School at Salem, Mass., she was principal of the Miner Normal School for teachers from 1883 to 1920. During that time, she continued her studies at Spencerian Business College and completed the course in medicine at Howard University. One of her chief contributions to the D.C. schools system was her rigid insistence upon careful selection of students for the teaching profession. She held that emphasis should be placed on morals and manners and the personality of the student, as well as upon academic achievement and professional training. Died in 1933.
Nalle, 50th and C streets SE: Named for John C. Nalle, born in Culpepper, Va., in 1856, who was a teacher and administrator in the D.C. public schools for 53 years. He was also an active member and officer of the masons and the Oldest Inhabitants Association. As a hobby, he sought older members of the community to help in his research on the oldest families of Washington. He was planning to publish a book on the subject when he died in 1934.
Plummer, Texas Avenue and C Street SE: Named for Mary H. Plummer, born here in 1895, who taught and held administrative posts in the D.C. public schools from 1914 until a physical disability forced her to retire in 1947 while serving as principal of Francis Junior High School. She was a graduate of Howard Univeristy, Miner Normal School and Columbia University. Died in 1951.
Marie Reed, 2200 Champlain St. NW: Named for Marie H. Reed, born in Spotsylvania, Va. in 1915. After graduating from Howard University and St. Ann's Spiritual School in Baltimore, she founded her own church in a basement on Vernon Street. In 1948, she incorporated her church at 1732 Seaton Street. She was named bishop in 1953 and assumed the second position of authority over a group of churches here and in New York, known as the Mount Canaan Spiritual Conference. She is remembered for her community service activities, such as organizing programs for children or paying rents and buying groceries for others. She helped found a preschool which was later known as the Community Pre-School at 22nd and P streets. Reed was also the first chairman of Morgan Community School Board. Died in 1969.
Richardson, 53rd and Blaine streets NE: Named for Dr. George Harris Richardson. Born in 1954, he was the son of Cicero Richardson, a Cleveland, Ohio contractor and builder who maintained the last American station of the historic underground railroad from which fugitive slaves were moved across the lake to Canada and freedom. Shortly after his graduation from Howard University, he opened one of the first two public schools for blacks in Prince William County, Va. He then worked as an accountant for the Treasury Department, where he advanced to the highest classification. He furthered his study at Howard and became a lawyer and doctor. He also edited the People's Advocate, a local paper, and was a founder and editor of the Washington Sentinel. In 1897, he was appointed a trustee of the District schools. In this capacity, he opened the Myrtilla Miner Normal School to all Washington high school graduates with a scholastic average of 75 or above. It had previously been receiving only 20 students each year and the children of less privileged people were conspicuous by their absence. Died in 1942.
Savoy, 2400 Shannon Pl. SE: Named for A. Kiger Savoy, born here in 1883, who worked as teacher and administrator in D.C. public elementary schools for about 49 years. When he retired in 1952, he held the position of Associate Superintendent in Charge of Elementary Schools. He promoted the organization of elementary school "opportunity classes," which were small classes made up of children selected on the basis of their individual needs. He was a graduate of Miner Normal School, Howard University and Columbia University. Died in 1964.
Shadd, 56th and East Capitol streets SE: Named for Marion P. Shadd, born in 1856 in Chatham, Canada, who was a teacher and administrator in the D.C. public schools from 1877 to 1926. The first woman in the Washington school system to be appointed assistant superintendent in charge of elementary education, she was also a leader in educational and civic affairs. She was one of the founders of the Phyllis Wheatley Young Women's Christian Association and for 35 years was treasurer of that organization. Died in 1943.
Shaed, Lincoln Road and Douglas Steet NE: Named for Alice Shaed and her sister, Ernestine. Alice Shaed, born in 1902, worked as teacher and administrator in the D.C. public schools for more than 40 years. She was a contributor to the "Mathematics Teacher" magazine for many years and helped develop a few mathematics curriculum along with an in-service program for teachers. Died in 1963.
Ernestine Pamela Shaed, born in 1904, was a teacher in public elementary schools here for 43 years. For most of her career, she taught first and second graders at Mott Elementary School. She was generally considered to be one of the best teachers of beginning reading in the school system and each year many parents would write letters of petition to get their children in her class. She was also a cooperating teacher for student teaching programs at Howard University and the D.C. Teachers College. She was active in the Bloomingdale Civic Association, in many neighborhood church projects, and in projects designed to improve the life of inner-city residents. Died in 1970.
Slowe, 14th and Jackson streets NE: Named for Lucy Diggs Slowe. Born in Baltimore, she graduated from Howard University and Columbia University and worked as a teacher and principal in D.C. public schools for 17 years. She organized Shaw Junior High School as the first such school for blacks in the school system. In 1922, she became Dean of Women at Howard University, a position she held until her death in 1937.
Syphax, Half and N streets SW: Named for William Syphax, born in 1825, who was active in movements for racial advancement until his death in 1891. He was the first black school trustee here. Under his direction, the personnel in black D.C. public schools changed from 66 white and 11 black teachers to 66 black and 11 white teachers. The black high school was also organized during his tenure.
M.C. Terrell, Wheeler Road and Savannah Street SE: Named for Mary Church Terrell, born in 1863, who was the third black woman in America to graduate from an American university, the first black woman to be appointed to serve on a board of education, the first president of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, and president of the Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of the D.C. Anti-Discrimination Laws. She was chief complainant in the Thompson's Restaurant Case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1953, which ruled that discrimination in places of public accommodation was in violation of the law. She is the author of "A Colored Woman in a White World." Died in 1954.
Thomas, Anacostia Avenue and Grant Street NE: Named for teacher, writer and civil rights activist Neval H. Thomas. A teacher of history here for 19 years, he enriched his teaching by traveling abroad and returning to lecture on the lands about which he taught. He was also a foreign correspondent for The Washington American newspaper, but is probably best remembered for his fight against racial discrimination. A leader of the NAACP for many years, he worked for such things as opportunities for library training at the public Library for all qualified persons, more adequate recreational facilities and equal salaries for officers in white and black schools here. Died in 1930.
Tubman, 13th and Kenyon streets NW: Named for Harriet Tubman, born into slavery on a Maryland plantation about 1821 and forced by her master to marry a fellow slave, John Tubman. She escaped to the north in 1849 and deveoted her life to leading more than 300 others, including her own parents, to free states through the underground railroad. She was attached to the Union Army in South Carolina during the Civil War and served as a cook, nurse, scout for raiding parties and spy behind Confederate lines. Though money was scarce, she used most of what she had to help found a place -- later called the Harriet Tubman Home -- for the needy and aged. Died in 1913.
Turner, Stanton Road and Alabama Avenue SE: Named for Anita Joberness Turner, a product of Washington public schools including Garnet Elementary, M Street High and Minter Normal. She was a regular classroom and physical education teacher and administrator in the schools here for approximately 49 years. She was the first director of playgrounds for black students and helped to organize the Public Schools Athletic League for black students. She was also instrumental in conducting health projects in several schools.
Walker-Jones, 1st and L streets NW: Named for James E. Walker and Alfred Jones. Walker was born in Charlottesville, Va., in 1874. He worked for the schools here for 24 years, and was principal of Syphax and Banneker Schools and supervising principal of the 13th Division of the Public Schools of Washington. He was a ranking black officer before and during World Ward I. In 1896 he was made lieutenant of the First Separate Battalion of the National Guard of the District of Columbia and in 1909 was appointed captain and later commissioned as a major. In 1917, Walker's battalion was assigned by the War Department to guard the vulnerable points of entry to the District. He was taken ill in the line of duty and died in 1918.
Jones, born here in 1820, was the first black trustee of public schools in the District. He was orphaned at the age of nine and at 21 he set up a retail and wholesale flour and feed business here which he successfully operated for almost 40 years. Jones is known for giving not only his time, but his money to develop education among blacks. At a time when the local government found it difficult of pay teachers, he advanced his own money to pay teachers of black schools. Died in 1877.
Weatherless, Burns and C streets SE: Named for educator and attorney Nelson E. Weatherless. While a student at Howard University, he won the Kelly Miller Gold Medal for the highest average in college mathematics for four years, the Robert B. Warder Prize for the highest college average in physics and chemistry and the Keniston Award for excellence in Greek. He later worked for the city post office, where he became second head mail dispatcher. He headed the Physics Department at M Street High School and executed a program to provide Dunbar High School, the successor of M Street High, with excellent laboratory facilities. He also served as head of the Department of Sciences in the Negro Secondary Schools, and secretary and chief examiner of the Board of Examiners. He was also involved in civic affairs and was seven times elected Grand Master of the District Masons. Died in 1943.
Wilkinson, Pomeroy Place and Erie Street SE: Named for Garnet Crummel Wilkinson, born in 1879, who was a teacher and administrator in public schools here for 49 years. He was also treasurer of the D.C. branch of the NAACP for 15 years, and was active in civic and educational affairs. He was one of the organizers and former presidents of the Washington Urban League and one of the founders of the Northwest Settlement House, where he served as president for three years. He received his LL.B. degree from Howard University and a Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Died in 1969.
Winston, 31st and Erie streets SE: Named for Martha Harris Winston, born in 1983, who was a teacher and principal in D.C. public schools for 49 years. She became a model teacher and member of the faculty of the first demonstration school established in the former Divisions 10-13. She was also active in civic and religious affairs. She was the first woman trustee of the 19th Street Baptist Church. Died in 1969.
Young, 24th Street and Benning Road NE: Named for U.S. Army Col. Charles Young, born in Kentucky in 1864. He was the third black person to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and saw his first major combat less than 10 years later during the Spanish-American War. When he was declared physically unfit for military duty overseas in World Wars I, he rode on horseback to Washington, D.C. to protest the War Department's decision. Died in 1922.