Lucy Slowe Diggs
Slowe was a woman of firsts in education, equal rights and sports. She was the first young woman to graduate from the Baltimore Colored School and the first from there to attend Howard University with a scholarship. She graduated as class valedictorian and went on to break barriers: she was the first principal of the first black junior high school in Washington and a founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first sorority established by African American women. Later, she became first Dean of Women at Howard University and the first black woman to serve as Dean of Women at any American university. Slowe won the first American Tennis Association’s tournament in 1917, the first African-American woman to win a major sports title. She often returned to Baltimore to speak about suffrage to women’s and civic groups. In her home on Kearny St. NE near Howard University, she hosted gatherings for Howard University students and devoted her career to developing practices and policies that supported equality and education for all.