Notable DC figures: Nannie Helen Burroughs

Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Northeast was named in 1976 after over 5000 petitioners requested the change from Dean Avenue.[1] Why did she deserve this honor? Because she dedicated her life’s work to the education of African American girls and women.[2] Born in 1883, or maybe 1879 [3], she was the daughter of slaves. She came to DC as a child, attended the M Street School, and when she applied to teach, she was turned down due to her race. Instead she started her own school, which is located just off the road now named for her.[4]  She emphasized hard work and entrepreneurship so that the girls (the school then was all girls) would become self-sufficient adults. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree, and sometime among all her other accomplishments, she wrote a book, What Do You Think? [5]

What do you t hink



[1] By Vernon C ThompsonWashington Post,Staff Writer. (1976, Jul 08). Honoring a ‘total person’: Nannie helen burroughs. The Washington Post (1974-Current File) Retrieved from

[2] Milloy, C. (1996, Jun 12). Unforgettable for all they gave the city. The Washington Post (1974-Current File) Retrieved from

[3] Little journeys in history. (1933, Jun 24). Afro-American (1893-1988) Retrieved from

[4] Milloy, C. (1992, May 24). Lessons from an extraordinary teacher. The Washington Post (1974-Current File) Retrieved from

[5] Redding, J. (1950, Jul 01). Book review. Afro-American (1893-1988) Retrieved from

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