In Memoriam: Roslyn Elizabeth Pope, 1938-2023

Roslyn Pope, a civil rights leader and educator, died on January 19 in Arlington, Texas. She was 84 years old.

A native of Atlanta, Pope was a graduate of Spelman College. While a senior at the historically Black college for women, Pope along with a young Julian Bond wrote “An Appeal for Human Rights,” which was published by three newspapers in the city and was reprinted widely across the United States and read into the Congressional Record. The “Appeal” laid the groundwork for civil rights protests by college students in Atlanta.

After graduating with a degree in music from Spelman College, Pope moved to Florida and taught in the public schools in Fort Lauderdale, while raising a family.

Later, Dr. Pope studied piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She earned a master’s degree in English from Georgia State University and a Ph.D. in humanities from Syracuse University. Dr. Pope taught at Pennsylvania State University and later historically Black Bishop College, which was founded in Marshall, Texas, and moved to Dallas in 1961. The college closed in 1988.


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