AfriGeneas Schools, Organizations, Churches and Institutions Forum
Re: Nat'l Ass'n Colored Womens Clubs, Files
In Response To: Nat'l Ass'n Colored Womens Clubs, Files ()
These women were truly outstanding. This group brought together the most respected, intelligent, socially conscious, and socially prominent black women of their day.
Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin was the wife of Boston Judge George Ruffin (take into account the time in which these people lived). They were senior members of Boston's Black elite and were involved in many efforts to educate and elevate blacks in Boston and the United States. Josephine was known for holding teas, and book discussions in here fine home. W.E.B Dubois as a Harvard student would spend time there often. He along with other black college students from the Boston area would gather at her home where a salon of sorts had been created.
Josephine Bruce was the wife of the first Black to serve a full term in the United States Senate, Blanche K. Bruce. The daughter of a dentist, Josephine was known to be a gracious hostess with a most desirable wardrobe. The papers commented on her European beauty and the striking couple she and the senator made. Once Sen. Bruce died Josephine managed their vast plantation in Mississippi and became involved in the colored womens clubs. She became the Lady Principal at Tuskeegee eventually. She ran against Margaret Murray Washington, the wife of Tuskeegee president Booker T. Washington, for the office of National President of the N.A.C.W.C. This created tension between the two. Josephine did not win the election. Many believed that Josephine was a class and color conscious "snob" of sorts. For most of her life she was not closely affiliated with blacks at all. Her freindly association with Blacks were drawn from the mixed ancestry/black elite.
Nettie Langston Napier the daugheter of Congressman John Mercer Langston and wife of Banker and Attorney James C. Napier was also a prominent member of the this organization.
Mary Church Terrell was an organizing force of many groups created towards the elevation of the African-American. Mary came from a rich black family in Memphis, TN. Her father Robert Church Sr. is billed as the first black millionaire. Mary graduated from college, taught school, served on the D.C board of Ed., and was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She marched for women's suffrage and protested jim crow laws as an elderly woman. She helped to organize the NAACP and many other black organizations. She was married to Harvard grad. Attorney and Municipal judge Robert H. Terrell.