Every day this month, the Center for Black Educator Development, in partnership with Phillys7thWard.org and Citizen Ed, will highlight a Black Educator Hall of Famer. But, don’t forget, e’ry month is Black History Month…February is just the Blackest.
Today, our featured Black Educator is Albert N. D. Brooks.
Albert Neal Dow Brooks was born August 27, 1897, in Washington D.C. Dr. Brooks was an educator and school administrator for public schools in Washington D.C.
Brooks was a graduate of Dartmouth College and Howard University. He also completed post graduate work at New York University and held an honorary degree of Doctor of Pedagogy from Lincoln University. Dr. Brooks joined the District of Columbia school district in 1920, serving as a history teacher at Shaw Middle School. He also served as principal of the Garnet-Patterson School.
In addition to serving as an educator, Dr. Brooks worked alongside his mentor, Dr. Carter G. Woodson at the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. It was Dr. Brooks who convinced Dr. Woodson of the need for a publication with more lay appeal than the Journal of Negro History beamed primarily, if not exclusively, at scholars, thus the Negro History Bulletin was the brainchild of Dr. Brooks.
Dr. Brooks served on its editorial board from its inception in 1937 and became its editor in 1951, continuing until his death.
In addition to his editorial duties, Dr. Brooks was also a writer. One such contribution was the Negro History Week Pledge, shared in the second volume of the Negro History Bulletin in February of 1939 during Negro History Week:
I PLEDGE MYSELF TO WORK FOR THE SUPPORT AND ADVANCEMENT OF NEGRO HISTORY, BECAUSE I FEEL THAT BY SO DOING, I SHALL BE HELPING NEGROES TO RISE FROM THE DEPTHS OF IGNORANCE IN WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN HELD BY PREJUDICE AND PROPAGANDA. I WILL STRIVE TO LEARN ALL THAT I CAN ABOUT NEGRO HISTORY; AND I WILL HELP IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE ALL THOSE WHO ARE ENGAGED IN THE STUDY, WRITING AND PUBLICATION OF NEGRO HISTORY. I WILL TAKE PRIDE IN MY RACE, A PRIDE THAT WILL SHOW IN MY DEPORTMENT, MY SOCIAL ATTITUDE, AND MY INTEREST IN THE LITERATURE, ART, AND OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS OF NEGROES. I WILL TRY TO CONVINCE ALL WITH WHOM I COME INTO CONTACT OF THE IMPORTANCE OF NEGRO HISTORY; AND I WILL TRY TO CONVERT THEM INTO ACTIVE SUPPORTERS OF THE MOVEMENT FOR THE STUDY, WRITING, AND PUBLISHING OF NEGRO HISTORY.
Dr. Brooks was remembered by Thomas Charles Walker as “a scholar of vision, passionately devoted to the pursuit of truth, disciplined by a commitment to objectivity… motivated by a fine personal heritage… As a teacher with high competence in research, Albert Brooks felt impelled to blast racial stereotypes and correct and illuminate much of American history concerning Negroes.”
Albert N. D. Brooks; a member of the Black Educator Hall of Fame.For more information on Albert N. D. Brooks, visit the following site.