Top Ten Videos to watch

HISTORY Brings 'Roots' Cast And Crew To The White House For Screening
Graduates tossing caps into the air
Freddie Gray Baltimore Protests
Mid section of man in graduation gown holding diploma
Legendary Baseball Player Tony Gwynn's Family Files A Lawsuit Against Big Tobacco
ME.jailhouse#2.0117.CW Montebello City Council has approved use of a private contractor to run the n
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Addresses Police Misconduct At Chicago City Council Meeting
WWII Soldiers Standing In A Flag Draped Sunset - SIlhouette
Students Taking a College Exam
Bill Cosby Preliminary Hearing
Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Louisville, Kentucky
Worried black businesswoman at desk
Tyler Perry And Soledad O'Brien Host Gala Honoring Bishop T.D. Jakes' 35 Years Of Ministry
Teacher with group of preschoolers sitting at table
FBI Officials Discuss Apprehension Of Explosions Suspect After Three-Day Manhunt
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons
US-POLITICS-OBAMA
Protests Erupt In Chicago After Video Of Police Shooting Of Teen Is Released
24673281
US-VOTE-DEMOCRAT-SANDERS
Nine Dead After Church Shooting In Charleston
Portrait of senior African woman holding money
Medicare
President Bush Speals At Federalist Society's Gala
Police
Police Line Tape
Senior Woman's Hands
Police officers running
New Orleans Residents Return to Housing Projects
David Banner
Leave a comment

Charlotte E. RayPioneering Black female lawyer Charlotte E. Ray (pictured) achieved her historic feat 140 years ago today in 1872, becoming just the third woman ever admitted to practice law in the country at the time. Ray was also the first woman admitted to practice law in the nation’s capital and the first woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court. Her accomplishments are noteworthy because of not just the racial oppression she faced, but also because of the added scrutiny levied upon her by way of her gender.

SEE ALSO: Two Shows Present Black Women In Positive Light

Charlotte E. Ray was born on January 13, 1850. As one of seven children, she grew up in a large family. Her father, Charles, was a minister and an active participant in the slavery abolishment movement. Known as a driven scholar, Ray would make her way to Washington in the early 1860s, enrolling at the Institute for the Education of Colored Youth, one of the few such establishments to offer a high level of quality teaching for their students.

LIKE NewsOne On Facebook To Stay Up On Black News Worldwide!

By the end of her tenure at the institute, her academic ambitions led her to become an educator at the Normal and Preparatory Department at Howard University. Around this time, Ray also enrolled in the Law Department of Howard University by using a bit of deception: Knowing that women were not graciously admitted into the law school, Ray would file her application under the name “C.E. Ray,” which would guarantee her entry. Excelling in her classes, with a focus on corporate law, she graduated from the law program in 1872. She was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, officially marking her historic triumph — but the victory would be bittersweet.

The times were not kind to Black people, even those with the educational credentials of Ray. Even though she opened a law office in Washington, her business would fail due to prejudice and the like. Shuttering her doors, she would return to her native New York and taught in the public school system, finding root in Brooklyn. She would marry in the 1880s, taking her husband’s last name, Fraim. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement along with other social causes and then joined the National Association of Colored Women as well. Ray passed on January 4, 1911.

Charlotte E. Ray’s legacy is quite intact and although her name isn’t mainstream, she is properly recognized by Howard University’s law school and has been a Black History Month focal point as well. Her inspiring tale in the face of insurmountable odds will continue to be told, yet it deserves to be a larger part of the conversation when speaking to young women entering the halls of academia.

SEE ALSO:

Ultra-Conservative Blacks Make Career Appealing To GOP Extremists

Essence’s White Male Managing Editor Leaves

Also On News One: