Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Hedgeman, Anna (1899–1990)

A mid-westerner, Hedgeman was inspired to become an educator after hearing W. E. B. Du Bois speak at Hamline University, where she was a student. Following college, she taught English and History at Rust College in Mississippi. Experiencing discrimination in the South, she became more actively engaged in the civil rights movement. In the 1920s, she began a career with the YWCA, and served as executive director of numerous branches in Ohio and the northeast. Between 1954 and 1958, Hedgeman served in the cabinet of New York City mayor Robert Wagner, Jr.—the first black woman to hold that position. She helped plan the 1963 March on Washington. In the 1960s and 1970s, she authored two books.