Anna Tanneyhill, a New England Jewel
*Anna Tanneyhill was born on this date in 1906. She was an African American administrator, writer and activist.
Anna Elizabeth Tanneyhill (she preferred the name Ann) was from Boston. She was the daughter of Alfred Weems Tanneyhill and Adelaide Grandison Tanneyhill. She graduated from Simmons College in 1928 and immediately joined the Springfield (Massachusetts) Urban League. A decade later she would earn a master's degree in vocational guidance and personnel administration from Teachers College, Columbia University; but by then she was nearly a decade into a distinguished fifty-year career with the League.
Working out of our national headquarters in New York, Ann Tanneyhill's tireless energy, superb organizational skills, and expertise helped guide the League to path-breaking achievements in forging employment opportunities for blacks in the century's middle decades. In the 1930s she organized the League's nationwide annual vocational opportunity campaigns to inspire Black youth to pursue the schooling and training that would prepare them for good jobs. In the 1940s she was instrumental in integrating the workforces of defense plants.
Tanneyhill’s commitment to Black youth was extraordinary. In the late 1950s she played a pivotal role in carrying out the League's pioneering effort to persuade major corporations to recruit on Historical Black College and University campuses. She wrote several articles including, From School to Job: Guidance for Minority Youth 1953, Program Aids for the Vocational Opportunity Campaign and Whitney M. Young Jr. “The Voice of the Voiceless.” 1977.
Ann Tanneyhill, who had lived for many years on her beloved Cape Cod, was known largely within the National Urban League movement and a relatively small circle within Black America as one of the twentieth century's greatest civil rights heroes. She died in July 2001.
Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
Today in American History