12 Black Pioneers Whose Contributions Undoubtedly Changed Education in America


Fannie C. Williams (1882 – 1980)

Williams had a nearly 60-year career as an educator. She was the driving force behind the passing of Child Health Day in 1928, and she instituted kindergarten and standardized testing for students long before Louisiana required it. She worked with three presidents (Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman) to help improve education in the U.S. Williams was also president of the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools.


David Levering Lewis (born May 25, 1936)

Lewis is a history professor at New York University and a scholar on W.E.B. Du Bois due to his research. Both parts of his biographies of the famous civil rights leader won Pulitzer Prizes, a first for any ethnicity. The prizes were won in 1994 and 2001.

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