Timeline of Dorothy Pryor's Life

portrait of Dorothy Pryor

  • 1925
  • Dorothy Jordan Pryor is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her family moves to Springfield, Massachusetts when she is five months old.
  • 1934-1941
  • Dorothy attends Springfield's Classical Junior and Classical Senior High. During the Depression, her father works at an electrotype company, and her mother works at home.
  • 1941-1945
  • Dorothy attends Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. During the summers, she works as a shop checker at the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • 1945
  • There are no teaching jobs available for Dorothy in Springfield, Massachusetts at the time. Dean Alrutheus Ambush Taylor, Dean of Fisk, arranges with the President of the Kentucky State College for Negros for Dorothy to become an assistant instructor at the Kentucky State College for Negros. She taught English, French, and black literature at the college.
  • Dec 27, 1947
  • Dorothy marries Albert C. Pryor Jr. at St. John's church in Springfield, Massachusetts. The newly married couple spend their winter break in New York at Hotel Theresa. One of only hotels in New York which will serve black clientele at that time, it was known as the "Waldorf Astoria of Harlem". Upon returning to Kentucky State College for Negros, they live in an apartment on campus. Albert teaches sociology and psychology, and Dorothy teaches English.
  • February 7, 1951
  • Dorothy's son Albert C. Pryor III is born in a segregated hospital. As an adult, Albert would become a record producer.
  • October 29, 1953
  • Dorothy's daughter Claudia L. Pryor is born in Kentucky. Claudia would grow up to become a documentary film maker.
  • 1953
  • Dorothy's husband becomes the first black person to teach high school in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • After 1953
  • Dorothy works as a substitute teacher in Springfield and eventually begins teaching at Technical High School. She teaches English there for 13 years. She eventually teaches the honors English class. During her tenure, Dorothy is the only black teacher at Technical High School.
  • Late 1960s
  • Dorothy teaches English, and American Culture and Black Experience at Springfield Technical Community College. She becomes STCC's first Affirmative Action Officer.

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