Rochester's Roots: James and Bessie Hamm

February 05, 2019 08:55 AM

February marks Black History Month. It's a time designated to honor and acknowledge the contributions of black Americans. 

In 1935, neighborhood kids saw the home at 301 Adams St. as a safe haven with high expectations.

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James and Bessie Hamm relocated from Baltimore to Rochester in 1922.

The Hamms had no children of their own, but devoted themselves to local youth, encouraging them to go to college; although neither James nor Bessie had a college degree.

The Hamms helped start the Ralph Bunche scholarship fund as a source of financial aid for college-bound kids by community donations. That fund was recognized by President Richard Nixon.


Kaci Jones

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