Anna Arnold Hedgeman

Anna Arnold Hedgeman, 1899-1990

Anna Arnold Hedgeman, 1899-1990

Anna Arnold Hedgeman, 1899-1990
Anna Arnold Hedgeman was an African American civil rights leader, politician, educator, and writer. She graduated with a B.A. degree in English in 1922 from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota and was the college’s first African American student in 1922. For two years, Hedgeman taught English and History at Rust College, a historically black college in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where she had her first experience with segregation. Later she worked as executive director of the YMCA in Ohio, New Jersey, Harlem, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn, which were all segregated branches. Hedgeman’s protest activities and her militancy would result in a forced resignation from her position from the Brooklyn YWCA. After serving as executive director of Harry Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign, Hedgemen was rewarded with a federal appointment in the Health, Education, and Welfare Department under Truman’s administration. As the first African American woman cabinet member in New York, appointed Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., Hedgeman advocated for both minorities and the poor. As founder of the Hedgeman Consultant Services, she served as a consultant for many companies and entities on racial issues. She was among the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. In 1966, she became a co-founder of the National Organization for Women.

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  1. Anna Arnold Hedgeman, 1899-1990
    Anna Arnold Hedgeman was an African American civil rights leader, politician, educator, and writer. She graduated with a B.A. degree in English in 1922 from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota and was the college’s first African American student in 1922. For two years, Hedgeman taught English and History at Rust College, a historically black college in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where she had her first experience with segregation. Later she worked as executive director of the YMCA in Ohio, New Jersey, Harlem, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn, which were all segregated branches. Hedgeman’s protest activities and her militancy would result in a forced resignation from her position from the Brooklyn YWCA. After serving as executive director of Harry Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign, Hedgemen was rewarded with a federal appointment in the Health, Education, and Welfare Department under Truman’s administration. As the first African American woman cabinet member in New York, appointed Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., Hedgeman advocated for both minorities and the poor. As founder of the Hedgeman Consultant Services, she served as a consultant for many companies and entities on racial issues. She was among the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. In 1966, she became a co-founder of the National Organization for Women.

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