Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Black History Month: Episcopalians

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright
(Apr. 3, 1872-Dec. 14, 1906)

Pioneer educator among African Americans. She was born in Talbotton, Georgia. Wright was the seventh child of an African American carpenter and former slave, John Wesley Wright, and a full-blooded Cherokee Indian mother, Virginia Rolfe. Wright graduated from Tuskegee Industrial School in 1894. She was determined to open schools for the training of African American men and women. After numerous setbacks, she founded the Denmark Industrial School for Colored Youth at Denmark, South Carolina. It opened in Apr. 1897. Wright served as principal until her death. In 1902 the name was changed to Voorhees Industrial School in honor of the generosity of Ralph and Elizabeth Rodman Voorhees. Wright died in Denmark, South Carolina.

Learn more about her and her legacy, here at the Office for Black Ministries in the Episcopal Church.

From Voorhees College:

Most memorable about Voorhees history is the story of its Founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright. She was a black woman in her early twenties who, in spite of betrayals, arson, jealousies, threats of violence, and weariness from wandering, persevered and founded a school in Denmark, South Carolina, on April 17, 1897.

Through more than 100 years of service, the mission of Voorhees College has remained the same; it is committed to providing a top quality educational experience to young men and women and equip them to assume leadership positions in our state and nation and to provide service to mankind.

From its founding in 1897, Voorhees College has evolved into a leading four-year liberal arts college accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and affiliated with the Episcopal Church and The College Fund/ UNCF.
Read more about her legacy here.

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