Womens History Month In West Adams

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Category: Our History
Published on Sunday, 14 March 2010 12:09
Written by Renee Montgomery

The month of March was declared National Womens History Week by Congress in 1987.

Long before then, the Mid-City/West Adams area, the heart of town, had already produced a number of pioneering women. Many were minorities, like Dr. Margaret Chung, the first American-born Chinese female physician, Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Academy Award, and Bessie Bruington Burke, the first African-American school principal in L.A.  Dora Fellows Haynes teaming with her husband John Randolph Haynes, created one of the oldest private foundations in the city. An early suffragist, Dora was important to women winning the vote in California. So too was social activist Caroline Severance who lobbied for free kindergartens, juvenile court reform, and established the first women’s club in L.A., an early catalyst for change. Later in the century Mayme A. Clayton, a USC librarian, single-handedly amassed one of the largest collections of black memorabilia in the world, now publicly available to students and scholars.

The TNN would like to acknowledge a special girl from our area who is carrying on this tradition of accomplished women making a difference.
Krystle Evans, a graduate of Crenshaw High, has recently launched a web program to help preschool-aged children develop better reading skills. The project, organized through Krystle’s college sorority, is designed to address the problem of illiteracy in the U.S. -- a chronic issue impacting African-Americans at a higher rate. A Youtube video describing the model project can be seen here. Graduating this year from UCLA with a B.S. in political science, Krystle plans to go on to graduate school with the hopes of one day influencing educational policy.  She is currently one of the top two ranking members in the country in her sorority. Kudos Krystle!  The early female social reformers from Mid-City/West Adams would be proud.

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