While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Kharen Monsho

GREENE, HARRY WASHINGTON (1896–1952). Harry Washington Greene, African-American college administrator, was born in New Bern, North Carolina, on February 28, 1896. His parents, Elvin and Sophia (Dudley) Greene, were poor and illiterate. Greene entered the public school system when he was eight and graduated as valedictorian in 1911. He later studied at the National Training School (now North Carolina State College in Durham) from 1911 to 1913. He attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania from 1913 until 1917 and while there was president of five student organizations (including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) simultaneously. Green entered graduate school at Lincoln in 1917 and received an A.M. in 1918. He was the founder and first president of the Isaac N. Rendell Education Society and was awarded a teacher's fellowship. He won many honors while at Lincoln in oratory, Latin, and Greek. Later, when he was at Yale (1919–20), Green was a member of the Yale Classics Society and secretary of the campus Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. On September 9, 1920, he married Leola Stanley. He earned a master's in education from Columbia in 1927.

In 1922 Greene was appointed Dean of Samuel Huston College in Austin (now Huston-Tillotson College). During his tenure at Samuel Huston, he was one of four black men selected for the Texas Educational Survey in 1924 and the first black man to conduct the Central Texas Teachers' Institute (1925). In 1926 he was a member of the board of trustees at Samuel Huston and Secretary of the Association of Texas Colleges for Negroes. After his term was completed in 1928, Green became dean at Prairie View State College (now Prairie View A&M University), a post he held until 1930; he was also the director and organizer of the college's Bureau of Research. He wrote "The Value of an Independent Mentality; a Survey for Texas Schools" (Texas Standard, July 1928) and The PhD and the Negro (1928) and was associate editor of the Negro American Magazine from 1927 until 1930.

In 1930 Greene moved to West Virginia to serve as director of the School of Education at West Virginia State College, a position he held for twenty-two years. While there he published a number of books and articles, including Criteria of Teacher Excellence (1933), Negro Leaders (1936), An Adventure in Experimental Cooperative Teaching (1938), Financing Higher Education in West Virginia (1945), and Holders of Doctorates Among American Negroes (1946). Greene was a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and active in a number of civic and professional organizations and fraternities including Alpha Pi Mu, Phi Kappa Theta, the National Society for the Study of Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the National Advisory Committee on Negro Education. He died on February 18, 1952, at his home in Institute, West Virginia, after four days of illness.


Who's Who in Colored America, 1933–37.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Kharen Monsho, "GREENE, HARRY WASHINGTON," accessed May 26, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgraw.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on December 10, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...