Emma V. Brown (1840-1902)
Emma V. Brown (1840-1902) was a teacher and poet, although her poetry was never published in book form. After graduating from Oberlin College, she originally ran a private school for children of African descent in her home, until Washington DC authorized funds for a segregated public school system in 1864. Brown then became the first African American teacher hired by the DC Public School System. Her first DCPS assignment was a small public school held in the Ebenezer Methodist Church on Capitol Hill. She subsequently served as Principal of the John F. Cook School and the Sumner School, until her retirement in 1875. She spent her summers training teachers in the South.
Other than a few years at college in Ohio, Brown spent he whole life in DC. Her home, at 3044 P St. NW in the Georgetown neighborhood, is marked with an historic plaque.
written by Word Works intern Monica Root, September 2013; edited by Kim Roberts, January 2016.