Walter McKenzie

Object Details

Phillip Ratner
c. 1977
graphite on paper
Frame: 18 1/4 × 15 1/4 × 3/4 in. (46.4 × 38.8 × 1.9 cm)
Mildred S. Bradford (1920- ) was a member of the Settle family and lived on Nichols Avenue (now Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue) in Anacostia. Bradford received her Master of Arts degree from Clark (Atlanta) University in 1952. She served as principal of Hendley Elementary School in Southeast Washington, DC from 1966, where she worked to alleviate overcrowding in the classrooms and advocated for greater parent involvement. She spoke out against a lawsuit that prevented Black students from her district from moving to nearby unfilled Anacostia schools.
According to local historian Dianne Dale, Bradford was on the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Board in the institution’s early years. Artist Philip Ratner’s portrait of Bradford shows her in a turtleneck shirt, emphasizes her long, oval face and highlights her big, bright eyes.
In 1977, the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum’s Board of Directors voted to include Bradford’s portrait in “Phil Ratner’s Washington,” an exhibition honoring current and former Anacostia residents who contributed to the civic life of the community.
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