A picture of Representative Jerry McNerney
Jerry M.
Democrat CA 9

About Rep. Jerry
  • Honoring Wilhelmina Henry, a Pioneer in Education

    by Representative Jerry McNerney

    Posted on 2015-01-27

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    McNERNEY asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a pioneer in education, Ms. Wilhelmina Henry, who will be 95 years old this month. Ms. Henry is Stockton, California's, first Black teacher.



    Born in South Carolina, she graduated from high school at the age of 16 and went on to earn a degree from the Tuskegee Institute--one of our country's oldest and most prestigious Historically Black Colleges. She began her teaching career after World War II in segregated schools in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama before moving to Stockton in 1947.

    Though she faced discrimination and resistance, Ms. Henry persevered with courage and dignity, retiring after almost 50 years of educating our children. Her legacy is carried on by both her daughter, Rachelle Mimms, who is also a Stockton teacher, and at the Stockton elementary school that is named in her honor.

    I urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing Ms. Henry's courage in breaking the color barrier for teachers and in paving the way for many others who have followed in her footsteps.

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