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What African-American woman was the first to head a major educational institution for blacks?

In 1869 Fanny Jackson Coppin (1837–1913) became the first black woman to head a major educational institution for blacks, the Institute for Colored Youth of Philadelphia. The Society of Friends founded the school in 1837, and when Coppin graduated from Oberlin College in 1865, she became principal of the Institute’s female department. The Institute was a prestigious school with a faculty consisting of some of the most highly educated blacks of the period.

Cofounder of the National Council of Colored Women, Mary Church Terrell was the first black woman to serve on the U.S. Board of Education.


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