A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell
Collection Number M 182
James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityContact Information:
James Branch Cabell Library
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2003
Phone: (804) 828-1108
Fax: (804) 828-0151
Processed by: B. Pittman
Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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Collection is open for use without restrictions.
Box/folder, Helen Baker Papers, M 182, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University
The collection was given to the Department by Dr. Percy Baker in June 1983, via Dr. Edward Peeples.
Collection processed in September 1990.
Born in Suffolk, Virginia in 1906. She attended Nansemon Institute and the Public Schools of Suffolk. She went on to graduate from Virginia State College in 1927 and in 1930 she obtained a Masters degree in Education at the Rhode Island College of Education. Later on, almost at retirement age she graduated from the Law School of the University of Maryland in 1962.
Mrs. Baker began her career as a teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Suffolk. From 1931 to 1945 she taught Educational Psychology and supervised student teaching at Virginia State College. The school was in a neighborhood of tobacco workers which led her into work with labor unions. From 1945 to 1948 she served on the staff of the Southern School for Workers in Richmond as the Director of Literary Classes.
In 1950 she began to work with the American Friends Service Committee first as co-director (with her husband) of a series of work-study projects for college students, North Richmond Neighborhood House, International Student House, and an overseas work camp in Berlin, Germany. She was active in the Prince Edward County School conflict, 1960-1963. In 1963, she organized the Metropolitan Washington Housing Project.
She battled against cancer for most of her life and counted each day as unique. As a young parent uncertain of her time on earth she taught her sons about cooking, shopping, reading, and traveling. She was married to Dr. Percy H. Baker a biology professor at Morgan State College.
Helen Baker mother, freedom fighter, and lawyer died at the age of 60.
Collection consists of photocopies of correspondence and papers related to her life.
The collection is arranged alphabetically and consists completely of photocopies.