The Charlene Hodges Byrd Collection documents the personal life and professional career of Charlene Hodges Byrd (1929-2009), an African American teacher from Washington, D.C. The collection also includes material about the Byrd’s relatives the Shimm, Thomas, Cummings, Hodges, and Davage families who lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. These documents are from the correspondence series of the archive. The letters discuss family life, religion, race, education, and the family’s relationship with Frederick Douglass and his family. Included are letters to and from Charlene Hodges Byrd, Ida R. Cummings, the first African American kindergarten teacher in Baltimore; Elizabeth Dews Hodges, Byrd’s stepmother; Sarah A. Shimm, essayist under the name Faith Lichen; her daughters Erminie F. Shimm and Grace E. Shimm Cummings; and Byrd's mother, Joyce Ethel Cummings Hodges. All the women were teachers and active members of their communities. Help us transcribe these documents that highlight women’s personal lives and their careers.