San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Myra Lillian Davis Hemmings
(August 30, 1895 - December 8, 1968)
African American educator, actress, and community activist Myra Hemmings was born in Gonzales, Texas to Henry and Susan (Dement) Davis. The family moved to San Antonio, where Myra graduated from Riverside High School in 1909. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where on Jan. 13, 1913 she became one of 22 founders of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the primary goals of which were to use their collective strength to promote educational excellence and to provide assistance to those in need. Their first public act was to participate in the women's suffrage procession down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on Mar. 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson's presidential inauguration.
Hemmings graduated from Howard in May 1913 and returned to begin her teaching career with the San Antonio Independent School District. She taught English and drama at Frederick Douglass and Phyllis Wheatley high schools for more than fifty years, influencing countless students to love performing arts and literature. Hemmings organized the San Antonio chapter of Delta Sigma Theta on Aug. 16, 1933 and served as its first president. Today there
Myra loved the theater and acting. In 1922, she married John (Pop) Hemmings, a former Broadway actor. Together they organized the Phyllis Wheatley Dramatic Guild Players. Their productions, in which she often acted, shaped the cultural life of Black San Antonians. She directed more than twenty dramatic plays and appeared in three feature films: "Marching On!" (1943), "Go Down, Death!" (1944) and "The Girl in Room 20" (1946). Hemmings received her Master of Arts degree in Drama from Northwestern University in 1937. Myra Hemmings' prolific achievements continue to influence and inspire the community and the world.
Marker is the property of the State of Texas
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17358.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Civil Rights • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations.
Location. 29° 25.421′ N, 98° 28.209′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker is at the intersection of North Pine Street and East Crockett Street, on the left when traveling south on North Pine Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 328 North Pine Street, San Antonio TX 78202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lost Burial Place of the Alamo Defenders (approx. 0.2 miles away); James Nathaniel Fisk (approx. ¼ mile away); Captain Lee Hall (approx. ¼ mile away); San Antonio National Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away); A National Cemetery System (approx. ¼ mile away); Clara Driscoll (approx. ¼ mile away); John Lang Sinclair (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Paul United Methodist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
Also see . . .
1. Woman Suffrage. As an independent republic and as a state in the United States, Texas granted women no voting rights. Men and women were partners in hardship and work but not in politics and government. Source: The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on December 26, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
2. Myra Lillian Davis Hemmings (1895–1968). The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on December 26, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
3. Delta Sigma Theta. One of the largest sororities founded in the U.S., the more than 300,000 initiated members are mostly college-educated women. Source: Wikipedia (Submitted on December 26, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 26, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 31 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 26, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.