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Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]
1885-1977
Creator:
Bright, Nellie Rathbone, 1898-1977
Extent: 1 linear feet (; 2 boxes, 1 volume, 2 flat files)
Nellie Rathbone Bright, born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1898, was the only child of the Rev. Richard Bright and his wife, Nellie (Jones) Bright. Despite segregation barriers, the African American Bright family attained educational levels surpassing those of the general population of their generation. Rev. Bright, assigned to the Episcopal diocese in Savannah, Georgia, in 1891, was appointed two decades later to a Philadelphia parish and moved his family to that city. A student of Philadelphia public schools, Nellie Rathbone Bright qualified as a grade school teacher with a special certificate for sewing in 1916. She then entered the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1923 with a B.A. in English. Single all her life, Bright spent her entire career as a teacher and then principal in the Philadelphia school system. Her efforts as an educator, spanning more than thirty years, focused not only on the schools but also on the housing and neighborhoods in which her students lived. In addition to her leadership abilities, Bright also possessed literary talents which she employed to support various causes throughout her career, ranging from contributing to black literary reviews to writing history for children. The Nellie Rathbone Bright family papers include 146 pages of letters, biographical notes, and a number of photographs. The collection also includes a scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings and church programs relating to Nellie Bright’s father, the Rev. Richard Bright, and his work as an Episcopal priest in Savannah, Georgia, and Philadelphia. These materials provide a mosaic-like portrait of Bright’s life as the daughter of a religious leader committed to educating young children. These articles offer glimpses of the richness and wealth of Nellie Rathbone Bright’s contribution to education in Philadelphia. (View full finding aid.)
title
Nellie Rathbone Bright family papers
creator
Bright, Nellie Rathbone, 1898-1977
id
PHi.2057
repository
extent
1 linear feet (; 2 boxes, 1 volume, 2 flat files)
inclusive date
1885-1977
bulk date
abstract/scope/contents
Nellie Rathbone Bright, born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1898, was the only child of the Rev. Richard Bright and his wife, Nellie (Jones) Bright. Despite segregation barriers, the African American Bright family attained educational levels surpassing those of the general population of their generation. Rev. Bright, assigned to the Episcopal diocese in Savannah, Georgia, in 1891, was appointed two decades later to a Philadelphia parish and moved his family to that city. A student of Philadelphia public schools, Nellie Rathbone Bright qualified as a grade school teacher with a special certificate for sewing in 1916. She then entered the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1923 with a B.A. in English. Single all her life, Bright spent her entire career as a teacher and then principal in the Philadelphia school system. Her efforts as an educator, spanning more than thirty years, focused not only on the schools but also on the housing and neighborhoods in which her students lived. In addition to her leadership abilities, Bright also possessed literary talents which she employed to support various causes throughout her career, ranging from contributing to black literary reviews to writing history for children. The Nellie Rathbone Bright family papers include 146 pages of letters, biographical notes, and a number of photographs. The collection also includes a scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings and church programs relating to Nellie Bright’s father, the Rev. Richard Bright, and his work as an Episcopal priest in Savannah, Georgia, and Philadelphia. These materials provide a mosaic-like portrait of Bright’s life as the daughter of a religious leader committed to educating young children. These articles offer glimpses of the richness and wealth of Nellie Rathbone Bright’s contribution to education in Philadelphia.
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