Grace Baxter Fenderson – Founded Newark Chapter of NAACP

Grace Baxter Fenderson (1882-1962)

Jersey gem: Worked in Newark

Grace Baxter Fenderson founded the Newark chapter for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1914. In later years, she served as president and chairperson of the Executive Committee.

Fenderson began her impressive career in 1906 as one of the first regular African-American teachers in the Newark public school system. She also devoted her energies to the Newark chapter of the NAACP and was a leader in its campaign to encourage the Newark Board of Education to appoint African-American principals and vice-principals.

During the 1940s, Fenderson served as the president of Lincoln-Douglass Memorial Association, a group started in 1912 to commemorate the lives of famous figures Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. She sat on the Board of Directors of the Sojourner Truth Branch of the Newark Young Women’s Christian Association.

Fenderson retired in 1948 after 42 years of leadership as a teacher and respected activist.

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