The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Amazon Brooks

Share on Social Media

Information about Amazon Brooks

Profile image of Amazon Brooks

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Domestic

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
April
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
All Right Now. and God Almighty.

Birthplace

Born:
11/26/1897
Birth Location:
Arcola, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Domestic

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
April
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
All Right Now. and God Almighty.

Birthplace

Born:
11/26/1897
Birth Location:
Arcola
See how Amazon Brooks is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Amazon Brooks was born in Arcola, Mississippi on November 26, 1897. Her maternal grandparents were slaves in Alabama, and her mother, Ella, was born in 1871, just a few years after the end of the Civil War. Her father, Thomas Duncan, hailed from Louisiana. She attended the Trail Lake School in Mt. Airy, and then later attended the Free School in Mound Bayou.

Brooks traveled north to Chicago in 1915 to help family members and to try to find greater opportunities for herself. The cost of her journey to the North was only $17.00. Once in Chicago, Brooks found work as a chambermaid at the Congress Hotel, and in 1933, during the World’s Fair, she began working in a laundry mat that provided linens and towels to hotels, and she would remain there for most of her working years. In 1938, Brooks joined the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago.

Brooks’ most notable achievement, however, was that she voted in her first election in 1920, the year women were granted the right to vote, and she continued to do so in almost every election since then. Even more of a rarity, since the 1932 election when she voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Brooks voted on a straight Democratic ticket.

Brooks passed away on February, 23, 2007 at age 109.

See how Amazon Brooks is related to other HistoryMakers
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amazon Brooks' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amazon Brooks lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amazon Brooks talks about her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amazon Brooks talks about her maternal family and their relationship to their former slave master in Green County, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amazon Brooks shares an African American folktale
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amazon Brooks talks about her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amazon Brooks talks about her maternal family and the crops they raised in Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amazon Brooks talks about her family's relocations around Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amazon Brooks recalls fishing in a farmer's bayou as a child in Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amazon Brooks talks about her mother and stepfather's churches and attending school in a church house
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amazon Brooks recalls what little she knows about her biological father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amazon Brooks remembers the first time she saw an automobile
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amazon Brooks remembers attending school at Trail Lake Plantation in Greenville, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amazon Brooks remembers her schooling in Mound Bayou, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amazon Brooks recalls her childhood personality and activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amazon Brooks talks about her deceased siblings, her stepfather's first wife, and her mother's remarriage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amazon Brooks talks about Isaiah T. Montgomery, founder of Mound Bayou, Mississippi
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amazon Brooks talks about Mound Bayou, Mississippi families
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amazon Brooks talks about her maternal uncle's family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amazon Brooks recalls her cousin's death in 1917
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amazon Brooks recalls her arrival in Chicago, Illinois in 1915 as a seventeen year old
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amazon Brooks shares memories of Chicago, Illinois in 1915
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amazon Brooks remembers taking care of her maternal uncle's children when she arrived in Chicago, Illinois in 1915
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amazon Brooks talks about voting in Chicago, Illinois and Mound Bayou, Mississippi
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Amazon Brooks talks about her marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amazon Brooks recalls her marriage to Mr. Brooks and her son's birth
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amazon Brooks recalls working in hotels in Chicago, Illinois and seeing President Theodore Roosevelt
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amazon Brooks recalls prominent African Americans from her youth
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amazon Brooks remembers African American newspapers the Chicago Defender and the Chicago Bee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amazon Brooks remembers working as a "scrub girl" in hotels in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amazon Brooks recalls various presidential administrations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amazon Brooks remembers where she was living the first time she voted
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amazon Brooks talks about Marcus Garvey
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Amazon Brooks recalls her second marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Amazon Brooks talks about her and her mother's radio-listening habits
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Amazon Brooks talks about coming to Chicago, Illinois while still a minor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amazon Brooks remembers the change in black political affiliation from Republican to Democrat and black politicians in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amazon Brooks talks about baseball
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amazon Brooks talks about voting for Harold Washington for mayor of Chicago and her lack of excitement about politicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amazon Brooks reflects upon her place in the world in her old age
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amazon Brooks offers advice for young people who want to live a long life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amazon Brooks remembers her family's lack of interest in education and stresses the importance of education for young people
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Amazon Brooks reflects upon her life and raising her son
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Amazon Brooks reflects upon the importance of history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Amazon Brooks describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Amazon Brooks talks about a cousin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Amazon Brooks narrates her photographs