Faithful to the Task at Hand

The Life of Lucy Diggs Slowe

By Carroll L.L. Miller & Anne S. Pruitt-Logan

Subjects: Biography, African American Studies, Women's Studies, Educational Administration, History Of Education
Paperback : 9781438442587, 500 pages, June 2012
Hardcover : 9781438442594, 500 pages, June 2012

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The story of Lucy Diggs Slowe, a pioneering African American figure in sports and education


Born just twenty years after the end of slavery and orphaned at the age of five, Lucy Diggs Slowe (1885–1937) became a seventeen-time tennis champion and the first African American woman to win a major sports title, a founder of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and the first Dean of Women at Howard University. She provided leadership and service in a wide range of organizations concerned with improving the conditions of women, African Americans, and other disadvantaged groups and also participated in peace activism. Among her many accomplishments, she created the first junior high school for black students in Washington, DC.

In this long overdue biography, Carroll L. L. Miller and Anne S. Pruitt-Logan tell the remarkable story of Slowe's steadfast determination working her way through college, earning respect as a teacher and dean, and standing up to Howard's President and Board of Trustees in insisting on equal treatment of women. Along the way, the authors weave together recurring themes in African American history: the impact of racism, the importance of education, the role of sports, and gender inequality.

Carroll L. L. Miller (1909–2003) was Dean of the Howard University Graduate School. Anne S. Pruitt-Logan is Professor Emerita of Educational Policy and Leadership at The Ohio State University. She is the coauthor (with Jerry G. Gaff and Richard A. Weibl) of Preparing Future Faculty in the Sciences and Mathematics: A Guide for Change and Building the Faculty We Need.


"The realization of this work is no small feat. It's a testament to how the tenacious Slowe made the grade and altered the educational landscape. " — Phi Kappa Phi Forum

"This is THE authoritative source to date on Lucy Diggs Slow. It contributes to African American history American history, the history of higher education, women's educational history, and women's history in general. " — Linda M. Perkins, Claremont Graduate University