Carlotta Stewart Lai

Carolotta Stewart Lai is one of the WOCAA – Women of Color and Accomplishment. WOCAA is a book in progress of my paintings and brief bios of Black women in American history. These are women who have accomplished much despite often facing discrimination or challenging backgrounds.

Carlotta Stewart Lai 1881 –1952

11″ x 14″ acrylic on panel 2021

Lai was an educator and administrator in the Hawaiian public schools for four decades and the first African American school principal in Honolulu.  She worked as a teacher and educational leader at a time when these occupations were largely closed to African Americans on the U. S. mainland, and she achieved professional success at a time when African Americans represented only 0.2 percent of the population of Hawaii.