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First Person

Dorothy Pryor

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You teach people who you are and where you've been

Dorothy Pryor’s life has revolved around education and her Springfield, Massachusetts home. She remembers running (not walking) to Classical Junior and Senior High School and how, as a student, she loved the library. During World War II, her academic years at Fisk University where punctuated by summers working in the Springfield Armory. After finishing her education in Chicago, Illinois and teaching at the Kentucky State College for Negros, she and her husband Albert returned to teach in her hometown. Albert Pryor became Springfield’s first black high school teacher and his wife came to teach English at Technical High School and then at the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). Dorothy is guided by her belief that, “you don't teach anybody what you know. You teach people who you are and where you've been.”

View a timeline of Dorothy Pryor's life

Dorothy Pryor's Stories

Fisk University


Growing up during the Depression and World War II

WWII poster


Discrimination North and South

entrance to Springfield Armory


Working at the Springfield Armory during World War II

Springfield, MA

1945 to Present

Teaching in Springfield, Massachusetts

Listen to Dorothy Pryor's full interview.

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