Hallie’s parents were slaves. They were married in 1840. Her father bought his and his family’s freedom. Her father was the son of a Scottish plantation owner and her mother was the grand-daughter of a white planter who fought in the revolutionary war. It was he who freed Hallie.
Hallie taught in schools inMississippiandSouth Carolina. She was a dean atAllenUniversityinSouth Carolina. She taught at a Public school inDayton,Ohiobefore she was appointed dean of women at Tuskegee Institute inAlabama.
She lectured and traveled frequently. She helped to promote the Colored Women’s League. InGreat Britainwhere she spoke about African American life, she made several appearances before QueenVictoria. In July 1889 she had tea with the Queen.
Hallie took up the cause of woman suffrage and spoke on issues such as full citizenship for women and civil rights for black Americans. She represented theUnited Statesat the International Congress of Women in 1899 at a meeting held inLondon. She protested against the segregation of the Washington Auditorium in DC, threatening that all black performers would boycott the All-American Musical Festival if segregated seating were not ended. Two hundred black entertainers boycotted the event and black participants left in response to her speech.
Hallie served as president of several organizations after retiring from teaching. In 1924 she supported the Republican Party, speaking for Warren Harding’s nomination at the party’s convention. There she took the opportunity to speak up on civil rights. She published a few books.
We salute this woman who dedicated her time to teaching and speaking out against segregation and pushing for women’s and civil rights.