Saturday, February 6, 2010

Charlotte Ray....1st Black, female attorney

There aren't really any pictures that one can use, and be sure it's actually a picture of Ms Charlotte E. Ray and little is known about her personal life, but she holds the title of the first African American female Attorney. Charlotte Ray was born in New York. Charlotte's dad was a journalist, Congressional Minister, AntiSlavery Activist, and an active conductor on the Underground Railroad. Ray studied at the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth in Washington, DC and was a teacher at the historic Howard University by 1869, four years after slavery was abolished.
Charlotte Ray studied Commercial Law at Howard University and it was there that she would receive her law degree in February 1872. She was the first woman to graduate from Howard University's School of Law. Also in 1872, Ray was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar making her the first female attorney in Washington, D.C and the first black woman attorney in the nation. As someone pursuing a career in law myself, I have been told the Washington, DC bar in among the hardest in the nation. Kudos to Charlotte Ray for making it!!
Charlotte Ray opened her own law practice in the Nation's Capital but due to racial oppression, she couldn't get enough business and wasn't allowed to practice. She closed her practice and returned to Long Island, New York and worked as a teacher. She met and married a man with the surname of Fraim, and died in Woodside, New York 1911.

Rest In Peace Charlotte Ray

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