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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Professor F.G. Smith

Yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday post contained a picture of Prof. F.G. Smith – a former principle of Pearl High School.   The picture was taken from the August 23, 1903 issue of the Colored American, a black newspaper out of Washington D.C.  Prof. Smith was from Selma, Alabama and attended Fisk University graduating in the class of 1877.  At the time of this article, he had been principle at Pearl High School for 8 years.

This article mentions several accomplished businessmen of Nashville, one of which I have blogged about before.   The accomplishments of Prof. F.G. Smith are many; some taken from the article include:

  • through the combined efforts of his and the teachers the school was ranked as one of the first high schools in the south for the exclusive education of blacks
  • Prof. Smith liked continuing education – took a course at Meharry in Medicine & Pharmacy, as well as a course in Shorthand & Typewriting from Fall’s Business College
  • was the first man in the state of TN to pass the State Board of Pharmacy held at Vanderbilt University
  • held three degrees but was humble, never attaching degrees to his name
  • was an accomplished orator

In looking through posts I’ve made so far, I found one mention of Prof. F.G. Smith from notes of Pearl High in February 1907 noting that he’d named the high school’s valedictorian and salutatorian.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the photo and for the background information on Professor F.G. Smith.

    This is a great blog. I love to exchange links!

    Reply
  2. Chris Lee

     /  January 26, 2010

    This is my Great Grandfather! He was also probably the first African American Optometrist. He attended the Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. He had to pass as a Cuban to gain admission. My mother, Isabel, attended the same school and became the first African American Female Optometrist.

    I have several pictures of Professor Frank Gatewood Smith. DuBois mentioned that he was interested in a student at Fisk named Lena Calhoun. Unfortunately. she was swept off her feet by a “light skinned dandy” named Frank Smith.

    Reply
  1. Pearl High School Notes (1 Mar 1907) « Black Nashville Genealogy & History

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