Every day this month, the Center for Black Educator Development, in partnership with Phillys7thWard.org and Citizen Ed, will highlight a Black Educator Hall of Famer. But, don’t forget, e’ry month is Black History Month…February is just the Blackest.
Today, our featured Black Educator is Dr. Ira Babington Bryant, Jr.
Ira B. Bryant, Jr., Ed.D., was an educator, author, researcher, and administrator born in Crockett, Texas on October 18, 1904. Both of Dr. Bryant’s parents were educators.
Dr. Bryant attended Caldwell Colored High School in Houston. After high school, Dr. Bryant attended Fisk University, earning his B.A. degree in 1928. Dr. Bryant earned his M.A. degree from the University of Kansas in 1932 and an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California in 1948. He attended postdoctoral summer workshops at Harvard, Rutgers, Michigan, Washington, and Stanford.
Dr. Bryant earned his first teaching position at Phillis Wheatley High School teaching social science in Houston. He began advocating the inclusion of the study of Black history in the curriculum of Texas public schools; calling for the preservation of “authentic records” of Black history, which yielded his text The Development of the Houston Negro Schools, published in 1935.
De. Bryant also published two books: The Texas Negro Under Six Flags (1936) and the Negro Church in Houston, Its Past, Present and Future (1935).
In 1938, Dr. Bryant was promoted to assistant principal at his alma mater, Caldwell Colored High School, which was renamed as Booker T. Washington High School. He was later reassigned as principal at the new Kashmere Gardens High School, where his principalship he focused on educational leadership and increased new teaching skills among his teachers.
After a career in K-12 education, Dr. Bryant shifted to higher education. He taught at Dillard University in New Orleans after retiring from Houston Public Schools. He also served as a director of educational workshops there and served as a part-time instructor at Bishop, Prairie View, and Houston College for Negroes, the forerunner of Texas Southern University.
During the 1970s, he continued to publish, including Texas Southern University: Its Antecedents, Political Origin, and Future (1975); Barbara Charline Jordan: From the Ghetto to the Capitol (1977); and Andrew Young: Mr. Ambassador (1979).
Ira B. Bryant; a member of the Black Educator Hall of Fame.
For more information on Ira B. Bryant, visit the following site.
Dr. Bryant was my Principal from 1962 – 1968. He was like a father figure to me. I remember while in the seventh grade as I was changing class we passed by each other. I stopped him and as him a question was he a Doctor. He smiled as he explained to me. He asked me my name and I became the Principal pet. In other words his privileged student. I worked in his office during my senior year. I baked him a cake while taking a Homemaking class which fell apart. He liked my cake. When I graduated Kashmere Gardens Junior Senior High School in 1968, I later found out that he also had transferred to Dillard University in New Orlean, Louisiana. I had a scholarship to attend Dillard. Had I known my life would had been totally different. I got married a year later.
Thank God for the trailblazers He allowed to cross our path.