Kelly Miller #BlackHistoryMonth #Day2

IMG_5247 Kelly Miller (July 23, 1863 – December 29, 1939) was an African-American mathematician, sociologist, essayist, newspaper columnist, author, and an important figure in the intellectual life of black America for close to half a century. He was known as “The Bard of the Potomac” in his day.
Kelly Miller came from a big family. He was the sixth of ten children born to Elizabeth Miller and Kelly Miller Sr. His mother was a former slave and his father was a freed black man who served in the union army. Miller was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina where he attend local primary and grade school. From 1878-1880 Miller attended the Fairfield Institute where his hard work paid off and he was offered a scholarship to the historically black college, Howard University. Miller finished the preparatory department’s three-year curriculum in Latin and Greek, then mathematics in two years. After finishing one department he quickly moved on to the next one. Miller attended the College Department at Howard from 1882 to 1886. In the year of 1886, Kelly Miller was given the opportunity to study advanced mathematics with Captain Edgar Frisby.
Miller spent two years at Johns Hopkins University (1887-1889) and became the first African American student to attend the university. Unfortunately, Miller was not able to keep attending Johns Hopkins University due to low funds. From 1889 to 1890 Miller taught mathematics at the M Street High School in Washington, D.C. Appointed professor of mathematics at Howard in 1890, Miller introduced sociology into the curriculum in 1895, serving as professor of sociology from 1895 to 1934. As dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he modernized the classical curriculum, strengthening the natural and social sciences. Miller graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1903. In 1907, Miller was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His deanship lasted twelve years and in that time, the college changed significantly. During his twelve-year deanship the college improved dramatically. The old classical curriculum was modernized and new courses in the natural sciences and the social sciences were added. Miller gave a lot back to Howard. In 1914 he planned a Negro-Americana Museum and Library and persuaded Jesse. E Moorland, to donate his large private library on blacks in Africa and the United States to Howard University. Moorland was former Howard alum and an official of the Young Men’s Christian Association. Miller’s persuasion worked and the library became the foundation for his Negro-Americana Museum and Library center.
After World War one, Miller’s life became difficult. He was demoted in 1919 to dean of a new junior college after J Stanley Durkee was appointed as president of Howard in 1918 and built a new central administration. He continued to publish articles and weekly columns in black press. His views were published in more than 100 newspapers. Miller died in 1939 on Howard’s campus, married to Annie May Butler. He died an American patriot, a father of five and a very powerful and influential figure in African American history.


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