Charlotte Forten (1837-1914)

First Black Teacher in the US

Date of birth

Charlotte Forten was born in August 17,1837 in Philadelphia,PA


She attended elementary, middle and high school in Massachusetts and began her teaching career in Massachusetts.

She attended an all-girls school because her farther objected to Philadelphia.

After graduation in 1856, she became the first African American to teach both the white and black children in Salem. Within two years, she became ill health and she was forced to resign from her position.

In the community of Port Royal, an attempt was to be made to educate the newly freed slaves and prepare them for land ownership on the island.

In October 1862, Forten arrived in Port Royal and began teaching in the island’s one-room schoolhouse. On Thanksgiving Day, she recorded in her diary her thanks for the “crowd of eager, happy black faces from which the shadows of slavery had forever passed.” Forten continued teaching at Port Royal for nearly two years, until once again, ill health ended her work there.

Accolades -She never received any awards.