Sarah Mildred Jones ca 1869
There are later pictures of Sarah Jones that some may be more familiar with, but this is Miss Jones Alumni picture from Oberlin College in 1869. The picture is copy written by Oberlin College and can only be used by permission by Oberlin. Sarah Jones was born in Plamyra, Missouri in June of 1841. I will write more about her daily but for now: Sarah Mildred Jones came to Sacramento, California in 1873. It is difficult to tell from pictures but Miss Jones was California’s first person of color to become a principal of a fully integrated school, at least on the west coast, in 1895, the same year that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Plessey vs Ferguson came down supporting “Separate but Equal” education in the United States. Actually, California had desegregated its schools by school statute in 1880. As magnanimous as it sounds, Sacramento’s idea of desegregation then was to physically move the “Colored School” closer to another existing public school for white students. California did not try to re-segregate their schools in 1895 but Miss Jones’ appointment as Principal to Freemont Elementary School at 24th and N street in Sacramento, was not without controversy. Still Sacramento was far ahead of most cities in the United States in this vein.