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Carrie Thomas Jordan, 1902
*Carrie Thomas Jordan was born on this date in 1870. She was a Black educator and activist.
Carrie J. Thomas was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the eldest of 11 children born to Lawrence Thomas and Mary Green Tinsley Thomas. Her father was a preacher who pastored at Mount Zion AME Church (Jacksonville, Florida). He also led Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta. She graduated from Morris Brown College in 1889 and attended Clark College from 1886 to 1890. In 1895, Carrie Thomas married professor Dock Jackson Jordan, later president of Edward Waters College and Kittrell College. They had six children, one of whom was Artishia Jordan.
In 1902, Carrie Thomas Jordan spoke at the Negro Young People's Christian and Educational Congress, held in Atlanta. She advocated vocational training courses for Black youth in the South to improve their employment opportunities. From 1923 to 1926, Jordan was a "Jeanes supervisor," mentoring and supporting rural schoolteachers in Durham, North Carolina, under the auspices of the Jeanes Foundation.
While in Durham, she also raised money from the Rosenwald Foundation to build twelve schools for Black students in the Durham area. "We found many of the schoolhouses in such poor condition that they were unfit for use, and efforts were made to replace some of the worst ones with new buildings," Jordan wrote in her report on Durham's schools; she also started a county-wide commencement ceremony for black graduates.
Her husband died in 1943. Their son Frederick Douglass Jordan became a bishop in the AME Church. Carrie Thomas Jordan died on August 11, 1968, aged 98 years, and her remains were buried in Durham's Beechwood Cemetery. A scholarship named for Carrie Thomas Jordan was established in 1993 at Clark Atlanta University, endowed by her daughter Alice Julia Jordan's estate.