by Dale MacAllister, 2020.
Born into slavery just a few years before the Civil War, in freedom Ms. Simms chose a path of public service, traveling across the state to earn her teaching credentials at Hampton Institute, and then returning to the Shenandoah Valley where she spent nearly six decades guiding generations of African-American children in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area.
Although the better part of a century has passed since her death, the accolades continue for this pioneering educator whose strength of character and leadership provide a powerful story that continues to resonate today. When the Virginia Emancipation Proclamation and Freedom Monument is installed in Richmond, Ms. Simms will be one of ten Virginians honored on the base of the sculpture.
“This biography profiles her life against the highly textured times that enveloped it. If circumstances seemed to conspire against her every initiative, in the end Lucy rose in quiet triumph.” – Rev. Dr. Edward A. Scott, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Mary Baldwin University and Pastor, Allen Chapel AME Church, Staunton, Virginia.
“Lucy Frances Simms: From Slavery to Revered Public Service will serve as a vital source for future generations to learn about her life and legacy. It gives African Americans of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and across the nation an example of strength and resilience that will surely inspire Americans of every ethnic and political background for centuries to come.” – Karen M. Thomas, Founder and President, Northeast Neighborhood Association, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Hardback, 305 pages, with photographs and index.