Fannie M. Richards

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Fannie M. Richards (1840-1922) was an American educator. She created the first kindergarten program in Michigan, and for that was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.


Richards was born on October 1, 1840 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She soon moved to Toronto, and was educated both there and in Germany, working in Germany with German educator Friedrich Fröbel. She later moved to Detroit, and was allowed to teach there despite not having the correct license. In 1863, she opened a school for black children and, five years later was appointed the Instructor at Colored School Number 2. Working with John H. Bagley Jr. Richards protested against the segregated school system in Detroit; which the Michigan Supreme Court eventually mandated the abolishment of. In 1871 (the same year as the decision), she started working at Everett Elementary School, and there established the first kindergarten class in Michigan. Richards also founded the Phyllis Wheatly Home for Aged Colored Ladies in Detroit, and cofounded the Michigan Association of Colored Women. Richards died in 1922.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Fannie Richards". Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  2. ^ "Fannie M. Richards" (PDF). Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.