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Thelma Groomes

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Information about Thelma Groomes

Profile image of Thelma Groomes

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Middle School Teacher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Sky Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken, Spinach
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Canada
Favorite Quote:
Give To The World The Best That You Have And The Best Will Come Back To You.

Birthplace

Born:
1/3/1911
Birth Location:
Kinston, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Middle School Teacher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Sky Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken, Spinach
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Canada
Favorite Quote:
Give To The World The Best That You Have And The Best Will Come Back To You.

Birthplace

Born:
1/3/1911
Birth Location:
Kinston
See how Thelma Groomes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Thelma Lucille Jarmon Vass Groomes was born January 3, 1911, in Kinston, North Carolina. An only child, her father worked as a truck driver and a preacher while her mother was a seamstress and beautician. Groomes grew up in Washington, D.C., graduating from high school in 1928 and going on to attend Howard University, where she earned a B.A. in education in 1932. She would later return to school at the University of the District of Columbia to further her education in the 1960s.

After graduating from Howard, Groomes took a job with the U.S. Department of Commerce, tabulating figures for the next three years. In 1935, she left for the U.S. Department of Labor to work as a statistical clerk, and she would remain there until 1959. That year, she went to work at Hine Junior High School teaching English, reading and social studies. She also taught government and sociology at Roosevelt High School as part of its adult education program. While at Hine, Groomes was an outgoing teacher engaged in her students' progress. She was the sponsor of the United Nations Contest and trip to the United Nations in New York, the sponsor of the Junior Red Cross Society and sponsor of the Charm and Culture Club. She also served as a representative of the school to the city of Washington, D.C., and the National Education Association. Groomes retired in 1972, but spent the next year working as a consultant to Alton Elementary School in the Parent-Partnership Traineeship Program.

Over the years, Groomes has been involved in a wide number of organizations. She has served as the vice president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in the Capital chapter, served on the Women's Committee of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is a charter member and vice president of the D.C. Friends of Liberia. She also currently serves as the president of the Howard University Women's Club, a role that she also filled from 1954 to 1956. She is also a lifelong member of the National Education Association and the NAACP. Groomes has been named the Woman of the Year by Afro-American, has been inducted into the Washington Urban League Hall of Fame, and was named One of Washington's Best Dressed Women by the Omega Wives. Groomes has traveled the world and sponsored three overseas orphans. She has two children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Groomes passed away on August 8, 2011 at the age of 100.

See how Thelma Groomes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Thelma Groomes's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Thelma Groomes lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Thema Groomes describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Thelma groomes describes her mother's personality and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Thelma Groomes describes her mother's educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Thelma Groomes describes her father's personality and family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Thelma Groomes briefly talks about being her parents' marriage and being an only child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Thelma Groomes describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Thelma Groomes describes her childhood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Thelma Groomes talks about her father's truck driving accident
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Thelma Groomes describes her childhood personality and activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Thelma Groomes describes her grandfather's encounter with a bear and researching her family history with HistoryMaker Gen. Julius Becton, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Thelma Groomes remembers her uncle, Elias Becton, a U.S. military veteran of World War I
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Thelma Groomes talks about her various nicknames
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Thelma Groomes describes her favorite elementary and high school subjects and teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Thelma Groomes describes her experience at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Thelma Groomes describes her experience as an undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Thelma Groomes remembers Howard University faculty like William Leo Hansberry and E. Franklin Frazier
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Thelma Groomes talks about her involvement in the Howard University Women's Club
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Thelma Groomes talks about Mary Church Terrell and Judge Mary Ann Gooden Terrell's non-profit organization for girls, High Tea Society, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Thelma Groomes describes her involvement with Howard University's Friends of the Chapel
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Thelma Groomes lists notable faculty and alumni of Howard University in Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Thelma Groomes describes working in the U.S. government as an undergraduate student and teaching junior high school in 1959
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Thelma Groomes describes her experience in the U.S. Department of Labor and her husband's work as a union organizer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Thelma Groomes describes challenges her husband faced as a union organizer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Thelma Groomes describes her experience teaching at Hines Junior High School in Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Thelma Groomes describes her tenure as president of the non-profit organization, Friends of Liberia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Thelma Groomes talks about Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson's legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Thelma Groomes talks about her tenure as president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Thelma Groomes talks about Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's African American history curriculum
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Thelma Groomes talks about her affiliation with various civic organizations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Thelma Groomes remembers the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 and the March on Washington in 1963
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Thelma Groomes remembers meeting Fannie Lou Hamer in 1964
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Thelma Groomes remembers the Poor People's Campaign in 1968 and being awarded Woman of the Year
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Thelma Groomes talks about her parents' involvement with the Universal Negro Improvement Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Thelma Groomes talks about her retirement from the District of Columbia public school system in 1972
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Thelma Groomes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Thelma Groomes considers her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Thelma Groomes talks about the significance of oral history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Thelma Groomes talks about her parent's perception of her work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Thelma Groomes narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Thelma Groomes narrates her photographs, pt. 2