Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Anita Florence Hemmings

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Occupation  Librarian
Education  Vassar College
Role  Librarian
Name  Anita Hemmings
Spouse(s)  Andrew Jackson Love

Anita Florence Hemmings httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Full Name  Anita Florence Hemmings
Born  June 8, 1872 (1872-06-08) Boston, Mass
Died  1960, New York City, New York, United States
Residence  New York City, New York, United States

Anita Florence Hemmings, (June 8, 1872 – 1960) was the first African-American woman to graduate Vassar College and was a Librarian/Foreign Cataloger at the Boston Public Library. Her parents were Dora Logan and Robert Williamson Hemmings. Her brother graduated from M.I.T. in 1897.


Anita Florence Hemmings Laura Streett The Gargoyle Bulletin Page 4

Personal life

Anita Florence Hemmings Vassars First Black Students The Gargoyle Bulletin

Hemmings was born in 1872 to Dora Logan and Robert Williamson Hemmings. She was a Protestant Episcopalian. She married Dr. Andrew Love in 1903 and had three children, Ellen, Barbara and Andrew Jr.

Anita Florence Hemmings Anita Florence Hemmings Passing For White At Vassar LISNews

Like some black Americans at the time, Hemmings and her husband passed as white for socioeconomic benefit. They did not inform their children of their racial heritage.


Anita Florence Hemmings Vassars First Black Students The Gargoyle Bulletin

Anita Hemmings attended preparation school at Girls High School in Boston and Northfield Seminary. The school was not aware of her race until her graduation. She graduated A.B. (Vassar College) in 1897. Later, rumors circulated that she should have been valedictorian, but they were false. Some considered Anita the most attractive woman in her class, it was whispered that she had 'Indian blood' which accounted for her dark hued complexion and straight black hair. She sang soprano in the glee club and was the featured soloist at the local churches in Poughkeepsie.

Anita Florence Hemmings Passing as White Vassar the Alumnaei Quarterly

In 1997, Vassar African American studies students petitioned college President Frances D. Fergusson to recognize Anita Hemmings at that year’s centennial celebration. Writing about it in Vassar Quarterly, Olivia Mancini, a local journalist, argued: "It brought [Hemmings’] graduation and presence to a level of honor that it should have had a hundred years ago." Vassar has acknowledged Anita Hemmings as the first African-American to graduate the college, but for almost all of her college career, she ‘passed’ as white. Today she would be listed as black, or other ethnic designation. Then, she was one of the class of Multiracial Americans. The term may also include Americans of mixed-race ancestry who self-identify with just one group culturally and socially (cf. the one-drop rule)


Anita Florence Hemmings Wikipedia

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