Grace Baxter Fenderson (1882-1962) was one of the first African American teachers in the Newark Public Schools and taught for 42 years, helped found the Newark Branch of the NAACP and served on the board of the Sojourner Truth branch of the YWCA. She was president of the Lincoln-Douglass Memorial Association. From 1936, she was on the National Board of Directors of the NAACP and from 1952 a national vice president. She was also a Republican Committeewoman, mentioned as a possible General Assembly Candidate.
Grace Baxter was born in 1882 in Newark and lived at the Baxter House at 15 Elm St. Her father James Baxter was Principal of the Colored School. Grace graduated from Barringer (Newark High) in 1901 and the Normal School in 1906. By 1907, Grace was an Assistant at the Colored School. After the Colored School closed in 1909, she was moved to Monmouth Street School, where she spent most of her career as a teacher.
In 1939, the New Jersey Herald News named her one of ten outstanding women in NJ.
She retired in 1948 and died in 1962. In 2002, a former pupil still remembered her as the “greatest kindest woman”.
F-07, Fenderson, Grace Baxter, Newark News Morgue, Newark Public Library
The Women’s Project of New Jersey Inc. (1997-05-01). Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women
Wright, Marion Thompson (1941) “Mr. Baxter’s School”
Cummings, Charles, “Black Educators Made History in Newark Schools” Mar 17, 2005
Newark Board of Education Report, 1907, 1909 and 1901
“NAACP Mourns Mrs. Grace B. Fenderson” Arizona Sun April 12, 1962
“The History of a People…” Star Ledger Mar 2, 1987
Cummings, Charles F. “Black Educators Made History in Newark Schools” Star Ledger Mar 17, 2005.
“Seven Teachers Resign Others Are Appointed” Newark Star
All Around New Jersey Herald News Feb 4, 1939