In 1832 it was not the intention of the town’s management to provide the cash and the means for a new exclusive boarding home to be turned into a school for “young little misses of color.” After allowing the school’s colored housekeeper to attend classes, no amount of pressure could alleviate Miss Crandall’s determination to withstand ostracism, arrest and terror in order to educate those who desired it. Although the students survived angry taunts, rocks, poison and fire, Miss Crandall’s determination could not hold back the hatred because in the fall of 1834 the townspeople ravaged the building, set fire to it and the school was forced to close.
“This thirst is permanent,
the well bottomless, my good fortune vast.
An uneducated mind is a clenched fist
That can’t open, like a bud, into a flower
Whose being reaches, every waking hour,
and who sleeps a fragrant dream of gratitude.” MN
Poets Elizabeth Alexander and Marilyn Nelson wrote this book of poems defining the trials of brave young girls that dared to dream at a time when their dreams could not yet be realized. Floyd Cooper, winner of three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, is the illustrator and does a terrific job with this collection of innovative poetry.
Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color