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100 years ago, Georgiana Simpson made history as the first Black woman to graduate with a Ph.D.

Black Women in Education

100 years ago, Georgiana Simpson made history as the first Black woman to graduate with a Ph.D.

By Max Witynski via https://news.uchicago.edu/

UChicago students, faculty reflect on injustices she faced, find inspiration in her legacy

In the summer of 1907, Georgiana Rose Simpson left Washington, D.C., to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago. A 41-year-old high school teacher, she enrolled with the goal of furthering her interests in German language and literature.

As a pathbreaking figure, Simpson faced racism and discrimination throughout her academic career. Shortly after she arrived at the University, she was forced to live off-campus when white students objected to sharing a dorm with a Black woman.

Despite such challenges, Simpson would earn three degrees from the University of Chicago—an AB in 1911, AM in 1920, and a Ph.D. in 1921, when she was 55 years old. Simpson became the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. in the United States on June 14, 1921, followed within weeks by two scholars at other universities who also received their degrees…

Read More: 100 years ago, Georgiana Simpson made history as the first Black woman to graduate with a Ph.D.

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Chrysalis

I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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