A 1945 Correspondence on Race
April 1, 2010
This portrait of Esther Popel Shaw ’19 and daughter Patricia hangs in the National Museum of African American History and Culture Gallery until Feb. 28 as part of the The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise photo exhibit.
In 1945 Esther Popel Shaw '19 wrote to Dickinson's Board of Trustees
President Boyd Lee Spahr, class of 1900, to discuss her opposition to Dickinson’s policy of housing black students
with black Carlisle families rather than the rest of the student body.
Their letter exchange provides an interesting window into mid-20th century race relations at Dickinson and beyond.
You can also view a video of Dickinson students discussing this correspondence during a Fall 2009 event, Silent Victors: Esther Popel Shaw and Women’s Activism.