Archive for October 17, 2008

October 17

October 17, 2008

The Phyllis Wheatley settlement house was founded and began operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These houses were designed to help “Americanize” the communities they served.

Its first director was W. Gertrude Brown. The settlement house had four departments: education, recreation, music, and dramatics. What were noticeably missing were classes in citizenship and English. This set the Phyllis Wheatley house apart from other settlement houses that focused on the “Americanization of foreigners.” A black woman ran each department and classes were structured for both children and adults. Though resistant to the idea of a settlement house in the beginning, African-American men and their groups changed their mind after the house opened. During the twenties and thirties “Phyllis Wheatley” as it was affectionately called became the center of the Minneapolis African-American community.

Thanks to Mr. Gunderson’s 6th grade class at Virginia-Roosevelt Elementary School for the research on October’s Day in History.

Thanks also to Minnesota’s Learn and Serve America Service Learning Program for their help.