- Name: Miss (?) Dunn
- First Appearance: Addy Learns a Lesson
Personality and Facts
Miss Dunn is a kind and intelligent woman. She does not like divisions of class between her students and is frequently shown as chiding Harriet Davis with regards to her actions.
It is unknown how old Miss Dunn is, but she is a former slave and came from North Carolina with her family as former slaves. She had never gone to school before her family came north, but she clearly learned well enough to go to the Institute for Colored Youth and study to be a teacher. Addy is quite impressed with her and sees her as a role model.
In the Books
Miss Dunn is introduced to Addy by Sarah Moore on Addy's first day of school. Addy notices how she walks in with her head held high and how she seems to glide under her skirts. She tells Addy she is pleased to meet her and says that while things may start out strange and confusing, Addy will learn her way. She introduces herself to the class and, after a brief speech, sets everyone up with desk partners. Sarah is paired with Addy to help her learn; as Addy is practicing letters she encourages her and then writes her name for Addy to practice on her slate. The next day, Miss Dun pairs Addy with Harriet Davis.
She encourages Addy after her first spelling test by pointing out how many she got right.
At school one day, Miss Dunn discuss the war and the progress; she says to the class that they must show support for the soldiers and that the school is going to the Baltimore Depot to send off a troop of colored soldiers. When Sarah asks why there must be a war, she pauses and says that people sometime fight for what they believe is right even when they don't want to. After Harriet says that Sarah should be grateful for the war because it's freeing the slaves, Miss Dunn tells her that will be enough as nearly every colored person used to be a slave. When Harriet says that her family has always been free, Miss Dunn looks tense and then says that almost all colored people came as slaves--even if they aren't now. One of the reasons a war is going on is because of the lines people have put between colored people and white people--a line of slavery. She tells Harriet that people don't need to cause any more lines to be drawn between people and that there do not need to be differences made between who is and is not a slave. The class agrees; Miss Dunn then addresses Harriet directly and gets an embarrassed yes in response. She then has the class line up with their desk partners to go to the depot.
Miss Dunn leads the spelling match at school and when Addy wins, she smiles at her and pins the medal to her shirt.
Miss Dunn keeps Addy after class to inform Addy she's been recommended to attend the Institute for Colored Youth. She gives Addy a letter to give to her parents.
In the play in Seattle, Miss Dunn was played by a multi-character actress. She is not changed much from the original stories and is really only seen through the first half of the play.