These cheerful and warmly dressed children, enrolled in Durham’s Scarborough Nursery School, were posed on the front steps for a class photograph on a chilly day in 1932. But this was 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression. Durham was in the heart of the Jim Crow South.
The significance of this progressive school is tremendous. Founded by Mrs. Clydie Fullwood Scarborough, it provided effective and healthy daycare for African American children. With a safe place for their children, mothers could confidently work and help provide the family with necessities, including these little coats and hats.
The detailed inventory of the Clydie F. Scarborough Papers, 1818-1984, which documents her work, is available here. For more information on using this collection, contact the RBMSCL staff at special-collections(at)duke.edu.
Post contributed by Elizabeth Dunn, Research Services Librarian