Theresa Pierce Cooking School, c. 1910

Theresa Pierce

In 1903 Amelia Perry Pride established the Theresa Pierce Cooking School for black children. At the cooking school students learned how to prepare and host meals. Frustrated by her students’ poor nutrition, Amelia Pride also taught them gardening and their parents food preservation. This image is believed to be students at the Pierce Cooking School c. 1910.

Photograph courtesy of Annie Smith Jefferson

Hughes Table

Virginia Hughes (1909-2001) recalled going to weekly cooking classes at the school on Madison Street between Eighth and Ninth, in a room in the basement. About a dozen girls attended the classes and cooked simple dishes such as muffins. Measuring for recipes was part of learning arithmetic. “Whatever we cooked, we had to eat,” Mrs. Hughes remembered. The children scrubbed the table before and after using it.

Table donated by Virginia Hughes

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