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The love of a teacher: Wilhelmina Crosson and Boston’s first remedial studies program – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-02-23 01:32:34 –

Wilhelmina Crosson is known as one of Boston’s early African-American educators. Born to working parents in 1900, Croson knew from an early age that her education was very important. However, she found that African Americans did not have many opportunities in education and scholarship.

on the other hand Roberts vs Boston Racism was outlawed in schools in Massachusetts in 1855, and racism and discrimination continued in housing, school districts, and socialization...

Member of the Junior Orchestra Club of Mechanic Arts High School, 1925, Boston Technical High School Photograph, Collection 0420.015

Crosson often reminded him that he wasn’t “mixed” with white children and discouraged him from interacting with them outside of school.

Crosun attended Hyde School, Girls High School, and Salem Normal School. She traveled 16 miles daily from Boston to Salem to take advantage of her primary school education program.

Salem Normal School, circa 1865-1914, Philips Library at Peabody Essex Museum

Wilhelmina later attended Boston Teachers College and participated in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first sorority for African-American women.

Another name for 2019

Many of Wilhelmina’s colleagues did not attend college. To change that, she founded the Aristo Club in Boston in 1925.

Club members wrote a curriculum for African-American history, a subject not yet taught at Boston Public School. They also raised funds for scholarships for black students. In 1926, the club successfully conducted the first “Black History Week” in Boston. This allowed me to teach a new history curriculum at school. Wilhelmina and other club members paved the way for Black History Month, which was not widely celebrated until 1970.

Letter from Aristo Club to WEB Dubois, 1926. WEB Du Bois Papers (MS312).University of Massachusetts Amherst Library Special Collection and University Archives

Wilhelmina started working at Hancock School in Boston shortly after graduation. Hancock School educated children from many of Boston’s Italian immigrant families.

Hancock School, 1909, Library of Congress

She worked with Italian immigrants and low-income students to pioneer the first orthodontic reading program in Boston in 1935.

She showed compassion to her students and knew that her basic reading comprehension was different regardless of school grade. Due to the success of her treatment program, Crosson was invited to speak at schools throughout Boston. She opened her first treatment center at the Paul Revere School in Boston.

In 1952, Croson moved to North Carolina when he was offered the role of president of the Palmer Memorial Institute, a dream of her life. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration at the age of 54 to qualify for that role.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, 1942 Palmer Institute Class outside the Triangular Kimball Hall of Achievement

Palmer’s student body participated in diverse and integrated recreational activities. Croson served as president from 1952 to 1966 and retired to return to Boston. After retiring, she continued to teach children and homeless people. She died in 1991.

Crosson’s contribution to education cannot be denied. Her tender heart and unwavering dedication to education have shaped the livelihoods of a poorly serviced community for future generations. If you want to read more about Wilhelmina Crosun in her own words, A copy of the history of her dictation!!


This blog post was written by Katie Meyers, a graduate student at Simmons University. She has a degree in Library and Information Science and is dedicated to archiving.

Contact department: Archive and record management

release date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021-12:15 am

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