FEMILIST FRIDAY: ANNA ARNOLD HEDGEMAN
A weekly thing by yours truly, described here: FEMILIST FRIDAY
- •A leader in government, religious, civil rights, and educational organizations, Anna has also been referred to as a "pioneer in opening civil service and political jobs to African American women".
- •1899 - Born in Marshalltown, Iowa
- •1922 - Was the first African American to earn a degree from Hamline University in Minnesota. She graduated with a BA in English with the intent to become an educator.
- •Immediately after graduation she accepted a position at Rust College in Mississippi. It's said that she became involved in the civil rights movement as the result of her experiences living and working in the south for the first time.
- •1924 - Began work at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and held leadership roles at facilities in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York over 14 years with the organization.
- •1940s - Held many roles in civic organizations. Most notably, she served as the Executive Director of the National Council for Permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, was Assistant Dean of Women at Howard University, and worked on Truman's presidential campaign.She was appointed to a position in the Federal Security Agency under Truman, and was the first African American to hold a position in that department.
- •1950s - Was the first African American woman to hold a position in the cabinet of a New York City mayor. She served under Mayor Robert Wagner, Jr. During this decade she also worked as a columnist and radio commentator covering civic and international affairs in NYC.
- •1960s - Was the only woman on the administrative committee for the March on Washington. She urged organizers to have a female speaker, and was a leader in coordinating for thousands of Protestants to attend the march. She also worked with people at varying levels in the church to support and ensure the success of the Civil Rights Act.Last but not least, she was a founding member of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
- •Anna received honorary degrees from Howard and Hamline Universities. She also wrote two books about her work: "The Trumpet Sounds" and "The Gift of Chaos".
- •She was active in many civic and religious organizations, and worked as a freelance consultant until her death in 1990.
- •Anna Arnold Hedgeman was not only a huge force within women's and civil rights movements, but was an early demonstrator of intersectionality and its co-benefits, in her case mainly between the race, gender, and religious spheres.
- •SOURCES:New York Public Library Archives and Manuscripts website, Wikipedia, BlackPast.org, and The National Museum of American History website.