Of Another Fashion

An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color

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These students of Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. are dressed to the nines at what looks like a graduation banquet. Unfortunately, the date of the photograph, taken by the Scurlock Studio, is unknown.

The D.C. Tourism website offers this description of the College:

Miner Teachers College was the principal school to train black teachers in the city for more than 70 years. The school was named for Myrtilla Miner, a white woman, who founded a school that was known as both Miner’s School and the School for Colored Girls in 1851. The original Miner’s School was located in the block bounded by 19th, 20th, N, and O streets, NW. It closed in 1860.

In 1863 Congress granted a charter to re-open the school as the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth, and it held its first classes after the Civil War ended in 1865. From 1871 to 1876 it was associated with Howard University. In 1879, as Miner Normal School, it became part of the District of Columbia public school system. Miner expanded into a four-year curriculum, graduating its first four-year class in 1933. In 1955 Miner Teachers College merged with the Wilson Teachers College, for white teachers. The new institution was named DC Teachers College, which in turn was absorbed into the University of the District of Columbia in 1977.

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