Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 03.19.1891

Bessie Burke, a Los Angeles educational icon

Bessie Burke

*The birth of Bessie Bruington Burke, in 1891, is celebrated on this date. She was an African American educator and administrator, from Los Angeles, California.

Her parents left their farms and teaching professions in Kansas and came to Los Angeles in a covered wagon in 1887. They settled in what is now North Hollywood.  Burke attended Berendo Elementary School, Polytechnic High School, and the Los Angeles State Normal School (now part of UCLA) graduating seventh in a class of 800. She received her teaching credentials in 1911 and soon became the first Black teacher in the Los Angeles Public School system.

She began at Holmes Elementary School and became the principal (and the first Black in L.A.) in 1918. In 1938, Burke held the same position at Nevin Avenue School. She was a distinguished humanitarian and respected educator and academic administrator.  Burke served with a number of civic organizations including the YWCA, Native California Club, Wilfandel, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the NAACP.

She was positioned in influential, powerful, and redeeming responsibilities for over forty years in California.  Bessie Burke died in 1968.

Reference:
Holmes Avenue Elementary School
Los Angeles Unified School District
5108 Holmes Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90058

To Become a Elementary School Teacher

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Let them keep it whatever it is for whites only hides. And smiles. I was in the pale inn after the writs after the whores after the hilariously lonely convention men... AND I WAS NOT IMPROVED by Lerone Bennett, Jr.
Read More