March 14, 2012
Members met at the Library with Janice McKay as hostess. Marilyn Harder gave the program about Dr. Nettie J. Craig Asberry, one of the women considered a “Notable Washington Women”, the theme for this year’s study.
Dr. Asberry was born in 1865 in Kansas. Her mother was a slave and her father a white land owner. She was the first African American to receive a bachelors degree from an American college. Kansas had no restrictions on race or gender at this time. She received a Ph.D. and was an accomplished pianist.
Dr. Asberry was married to Albert Jones in 1889 and they migrated to Seattle. She became a widow in 1893 and married Henry Joseph Asberry in 1896. They settled in Tacoma and lived there the rest of their lives. She was active in her church getting women to form social clubs, study groups, go to school and get an education. She gave music lessons for fifty years. Dr. Asberry started the NAACP which is still active today.
In Dr. Asberry ‘s own words in a summary of her life, “Courage is saving grace in this tense world of racial situation. Courage of white people who dare to show their fairness by helping us achieve positions of human dignity and courage of those of others races who risk insults by quietly asserting their rights as human beings”. She died at the age of 103.