This is a studio portrait of educator and advocate Grace Morris Allen Jones. Born in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1876, Jones was raised in Burlington, Iowa. she received her teacher’s certificate from the Normal School in Burlington and taught in Missouri for three years. Jones returned to Burlington, and established the Grace M. Allen Industrial School for African-American students in 1902. Both black and white teachers were employed and the school accepted school-aged students of any race. The school closed in 1906 after Burlington instituted manual training departments into its public schools. Jones went on to study public speaking and worked as a fundraiser and public speaker for education. After marrying Laurence C. Jones, she worked with her husband in running Piney Woods Country School in Mississippi. Jones died from the after-effects of pneumonia in 1928.
The African American Museum’s current temporary exhibit, Unwavering: 21st Century Activism allows audiences to engage with contemporary social movements from Black Lives Matter to the Me Too movement. Through objects, stories, and hands-on activities, you can explore the stories of groups who continue to bring to light the struggle for Black civil rights and equality that began centuries ago. Within this exhibit you can develop an understanding of the past and present social movements involving the Black community, engage in the meaning of protest and social justice in the modern era, and become empowered to work for change within your own community.