African-American Women

Piecing History Together: the story of the Mathilda Dunbar Club

By Sophia Weglarz, EWHP 2021 Summer Intern In my previous blog post, I discussed the 1932 alliance between Evanston’s first Black alderman, Edwin Jourdain, and the first female alderwoman, Daisy Sandidge, when Sandidge ran for Jourdain’s unexpired term at his behest after he was removed for supposed election fraud. Earlier this summer, I wrote about …

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Mayme Spencer

Attorney Mayme Finley Spencer was Evanston’s first African-American female alderman. She came to Evanston in 1957 with her husband Warren, a doctor at the Community Hospital. Spencer was elected alderman in 1963 and served two terms. A graduate of Kent College of Law, Spencer practiced law for many years at a Chicago law firm while …

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Isabella Garnett

Dr. Isabella Garnett (1872-1948) was born in 1872 to one of Evanston’s earliest African-American families. One of the first African-American female physicians in the state of Illinois, Garnett received her medical degree in 1901 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago. She returned to Evanston in 1904. Recognizing that hospital care for African-Americans …

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