West Chester Civil Rights Icon Remembered as Author, Educator, and Antique Aficionado

Alice Thomas
Image The Daily Local News.
Alice Thomas was a West Chester civil rights icon.

The West Chester community is remembering a civil rights icon and educator who changed the lives of Black youth. Alice Thomas, who dedicated her life to fighting for justice, passed away at 92 years old, writes Bill Rettew for The Daily Local News

“She always made sure that everybody had a seat at the table,” said her daughter Charlene Thomas.  

An educator, Thomas fought to give students access to higher education. Her time at Henderson High School also ensured that Black students could get quality education and access to recreational activities. In 1978 she helped for the Black Student Union.  

From fighting for Black students to be included in school musical productions or on the cheerleading team, she left an impact. 

“She impacted the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of students and families,” said Borough Councilwoman and Melton Center Board member Lisa Dorsey.  

“I met her in the 9th grade at Henderson High School. She pushed me into leadership roles in high school that led to the roles I hold today. She did the same for every Black and brown student that crossed her path.” 

Thomas’s role in the Civil Rights movement extended far beyond the classroom. She saw Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in Washington, D.C. Fast forward decades later to 2019, she published memoirs about her experience living in West Chester titled “Surviving Racism: A memoir of life, love, and faith.” 

In addition to fighting for justice, Thomas was also a fan of antiques. She ran The Antiques Shop for thirty years before closing in 2022.

Read more about Alice Thomas in The Daily Local News.  

West Chester NAACP Recognizes Mrs. Alice Thomas.

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