Josephine Silone Yates

Josephine Silone Yates

Educator

Josephine Silone Yates was a science educator who was active in women’s and civil rights organizations. After graduating as valedictorian in 1877, she pursued a teacher certification and became the first certified African-American teacher in Rhode Island. She taught in public schools for a few years before joining the Lincoln Institute, a college for African American students in Jefferson, Missouri. In 1899, she moved to Kansas City and became involved in multiple African-American women’s and civil rights clubs. She became the first president of the Women’s League of Kansas City and later joined the National Association for Colored Women (NACW) where she held multiple elected positions including vice president, treasurer, and president. She represented the NACW and traveled across the country to deliver speeches. In 1902, she returned to Lincoln Institute and became the chair of English and History, and continued to work in education until her death in 1912.

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