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Bessye B. Bearden papers,

Bessye B. Bearden papers, 1922-1944.
Bearden, Bessye B., 1891-1943.
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Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Box 1Moving imageUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 73 Box 1Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives


.3 lin. ft.
Biography (note)
  • Civic leader.
Processing Action (note)
  • Surveyed
  • Processed
  • Cataloging updated
  • Cataloging updated
Call Number
Sc MG 73
Bearden, Bessye B., 1891-1943.
Bessye B. Bearden papers, 1922-1944.
The papers mainly reflect Bearden's membership in and activities with several civic and political organizations, and consists of letters, speeches and printed material.
Civic leader. Bessye J. Bearden was born in Atlantic City, N.J. and received her education at local schools in North Carolina. She later attended Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute and Columbia University. Bearden married R. Howard Bearden and had one child, Romare, the internationally renowned artist.
From 1927 Bearden served as the New York representative for the "Chicago Defender;" she also freelanced as a writer for other publications. In 1935 she was appointed Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue and later was an auditor. She was elected to local School Board No. 15 in New York City, becoming the first woman of African descent to hold this position.
Bearden was involved in numerous civic activities. She served on the boards of the New York Urban League, the Harlem Community Council and the Colored Women's Democratic League, of which she was the first president.
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Sc MG 73
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