Ida Alexander Gibbs (November 16, 1862 - December 19, 1957) was an advocate of racial and gender equality, and co-founded one of the first YWCAs in Washington, D.C. for African-Americans in 1905. She was the daughter of Judge Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, the wife of William Henry Hunt, and a longtime friend of W.E.B. DuBois.
Ida Alexander Gibbs Hunt
Ida Alexander Gibbs
November 16, 1862
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
|Died||December 19, 1957 (aged 95)|
|Alma mater||Oberlin College|
|Occupation||Educator, Civil Rights Activist|
William Henry Hunt (m. 1904)
Early life and educationEdit
Ida Alexander Gibbs was born on November 16, 1862 in Victoria, British Columbia. Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was her father. Harriet Gibbs Marshall was her sister. Their left California during the Gold Rush because of the race badges they were forced to wear and moved en masse to Victoria.
Gibbs studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1872-1876) and Oberlin Public Schools (1876-c. 1879). Afterwards, she completed Oberlin College's Preparatory Department and earned a bachelor of arts degree in English as a boarding student.
At Oberlin College, she completed a classical and scientific academic course in the Department of Philosophy and the Arts as part of the first class of black women to graduate from the school in 1884 alongside Mary Church Terrell and Anna Julia Cooper. In 1892, she received an MA degree.
Promoting black education, civil rights and woman's suffrage, Gibbs made her mark as an educator and Pan-Africanist.
Civil rights activismEdit
Gibbs pursued her civil activism in a variety of ways. Internationally, she helped support W.E.B. DuBois in organizing many Pan-African Congresses and supported the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She also advocated for world disarmament at the 1923 London Third Pan-African Congress in a paper entitled “The Colored Races and the League of Nations" and along with W.E.B. DuBois, she co-chaired the Conference's Executive Committee. Nationally she was involved in the Niagara Movement and well as National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). After her marriage, Gibbs accompanied her husband on his diplomatic assignments, including Liberia, France, Madagascar, and Guadeloupe. Through her travels with her husband, Gibbs developed an international perspective on racial justice.
She organized the first Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) for black women.
Ida Gibbs Hunt died in Washington, D.C. on December 19, 1957.
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