Florida Ruffin Ridley


Image found on Hidden Brookline website


Florida Ruffin Ridley
January 29, 1861 – February 25, 1943
Second Unitarian Church

Ridley’s mother, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, was a speaker, editor, and women’s and civil rights activist. Her father was a graduate of Harvard Law School, and one of the first Black judges. Ridley demonstrated the same excellence and desire to serve when she became the second Black teacher in the Boston Public schools. Ridley and her mother often worked in partnership, and together they started Women’s Era, the first publication owned and operated by Black women in the nation. It was the official journal of the Colored Women’s League, later known as the National Association of Colored Women. Ridley was the founder of several organizations: The Society for the Collection of Negro Folklore in Boston, Society of Descendants, and Early New England Negroes. She also participated in the NAACP.  She was a founding member of Second Unitarian Church in Brookline, Massachusetts. On November 20, 2019, the Coolidge Corner School in Brookline was renamed the Florida Ruffin Ridley School.