A Renaissance Education: Mildred L. Johnson and the Harlem School She Built

4:15 pm – Video presentation and oral histories (available for advanced viewing at your leisure after December 2nd)
5:00 pm – Live panel discussion and Q&A

In a segregated New York City of the 1930s, as a young Black woman Mildred L. Johnson found herself unable to secure the teaching job she wanted. Undeterred, she went on to imagine and built a progressive, affirming, Black independent school, called The Modern School, which operated for more than 60 years in Harlem’s Sugar Hill.


  • Khadijah Akeem, Masters Student, History and Education, Teachers College
  • Melanie Edwards, The Modern School educator, teacher, and daughter of Mildred L. Johnson
  • Ansley Erickson, Associate Professor of History and Education Policy and Co-Director, Center on History and Education
  • Deidre B. Flowers ’17, A’Lelia Bundles Scholar at Columbia University
  • Nicole Furlonge, Klingenstein Family Chair Professor of Practice and Director of Klingenstein Center, Teachers College
  • Karen D. Taylor, Founder and Executive Director, While We Are Still Here