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 Leila Amos Pendleton.
Leila Amos Pendleton was born in 1860 in Washington D.C. A graduate of Washington D.C. public schools, Pendleton became a schoolteacher. She married publisher Robert Pendleton and left teaching to concentrate on her community activist efforts.
Pendleton would help improve life for many African Americans in Washington, D.C. through her many associations, including the Alpha Charity of Anacostia (founder and President), The Social Purity League (founder and President), Northeast Federation of Women’s Clubs (Vice President), National Association of Assemblies of the Order of the Golden Circle, and Auxiliary to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (Pendleton, 1971).
Pendleton’s scholarship included An Alphabet for Negro Children (1915), Our New Possession—The Danish West Indies (1917), a published biography about Frederick Douglass (1921a), and two short stories published in the Crisis magazine, “The Foolish and the Wise: Sallie Runner is Introduced to Socrates” (1921b) and “The Foolish and the Wise: Sanctum 777NS.D.C.O.U. Meets Cleopatra” (1922)
Her most noted work however is her textbook A Narrative of the Negro (1912), which was used as a textbook in Washington, DC public schools. She considered the text, which offers a comprehensive and readable history of blacks in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States—in addition to being based on her experiences as an educator and activist, to be one of her most noteworthy accomplishments.
In A Narrative of the Negro, Pendleton offers a rationale for her purpose behind the text:
“Many little colored children can draw a map of Africa, tell some of its products and describe some of its people; I wonder how many have been taught to think of Africa with interest and affection, because our great, great grandparents came from that continent? Perhaps if we talk awhile about our Motherland and some of the notable things which have happened there, we shall all learn to love that wonderful country and be proud of it.”
A Narrative of the Negro has 14 editions since its creation.
Pendleton dedicated her career to supporting the education of Black children, both with chalk in the classroom and with the pen at a desk. Her contributions cannot be understated, and she serves as an example of the effect we can have on Black children if we dedicated ourselves to them.
Leila Amos Pendleton; a member of the Black Educator Hall of Fame.
For more information on Leila Amos Pendleton, visit the following site.