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Mar 15 2021 - 04:30 PM
Today In History: Marion Vera Cuthbert Is Born

Book cover for We Sing America, by Marion Cuthbert

On March 15th, 1896 Marion Vera Cuthbert was born in St Paul, Minnesota. After receiving her BA from Boston University in 1920, Cuthbert served as Principal of Burrell Normal School and then Dean of Women at Talladega College, Alabama's oldest private and historically black liberal arts college. She pursued a Masters and Doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University; her PhD, Education and Marginality: A Study Of the Negro Woman College Student (1942), prepared her for more leadership roles; she became the first Afro-American woman to serve as Dean at Brooklyn College. She was also instrumental in creating the National Association of College Women and as active in the National Board of the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) and the NAACP (National Association of Colored Persons). Marion Vera Cuthbert devoted her life to not only helping black women in higher education, but also fighting discrimination.

A gifted poet and and essayist, Cuthbert also contributed to the flowering of writing during the Harlem Renaissance; she published a number of significant works, among them: We Sing America (New York: Friendship Press, 1936); Juliette Derricotte (New York: The Womans Press, 1933), Songs of Creation (New York: The Womans Press, 1949), April Grasses (New York: The Womans Press, 1936), and Democracy and the Negro (New York: Pilgrim Press, 1936).

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.


Special News Slide with images of historical newspaper articles


  • Title Page, We Sing America, by Marion Cuthbert, Courtesy of New York Public Library Digital Collections

  • Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries


Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check additional Cafe News postings on the library blog.

Posted in: Learning at the LibraryNews Cafe|By: Jennifer Govan|924 Reads