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Fredi Brown

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Information about Fredi Brown

Profile image of Fredi Brown

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Chief Executive
Cultural Heritage Collector

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Strawberries
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Francisco, California
Favorite Quote:
An Ongoing Search For Truth.

Birthplace

Born:
12/4/1923
Birth Location:
Bradenton, Florida

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Chief Executive
Cultural Heritage Collector

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Strawberries
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Francisco, California
Favorite Quote:
An Ongoing Search For Truth.

Birthplace

Born:
12/4/1923
Birth Location:
Bradenton
See how Fredi Brown is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Fredi Brown, founder and director of the Family Heritage House Museum in Bradenton, Florida, was born on December 4, 1923, in Bradenton. She grew up in a close-knit neighborhood where everyone listened to Joe Louis fights on the same radio. Brown was active in the church and an excellent student at Lincoln High School, where she graduated in 1939 as valedictorian of her class.

Brown wanted to become a dietician and enrolled in Florida A&M University in East Tallahassee, Florida. She wrote for the school paper and when she graduated with a B.A. in 1944, she decided to pursue a career in journalism. She moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and through the National Urban League found a position writing ads for the Kansas City Call. There, Brown met her husband, Ernest Brown, whom she married in Detroit, Michigan, in 1946. The Detroit Urban League hired Ernest and the couple became immersed into the public life of Detroit. The Browns collected materials relating to black life in Detroit from civil rights victories to the devastating 1967 riots. When they relocated to Bradenton in 1976, Brown, who taught at Manatee Community College, shared these items with her students.

When she retired in 1990, she sought a place to house her collected books and papers. Interest from the college administration and community resulted in a new wing of the library that now serves as the home of the Family Heritage House Museum. Focusing primarily on African American history and culture the museum such figures as Charles Drew and John Henrik Clarke are featured in this 2,085-square foot facility that houses books, tapes, paintings, prints, heirlooms and photographs. The museum opened in 2000 and is the only museum of its kind on a community college campus.

Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2002.

See how Fredi Brown is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Fredi Brown's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fredi Brown lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fredi Brown describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fredi Brown talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fredi Brown describes her father's personality, looks, and his work
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fredi Brown describes her mother's personality and work
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fredi Brown talks about working at Bradenton General Hospital as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fredi Brown describes her childhood neighborhood in Bradenton, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Fredi Brown recalls her childhood aspiration to be a dietician
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Fredi Brown talks about attending church as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Fredi Brown recalls her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Fredi Brown describes her elementary school teachers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Fredi Brown remembers being valedictorian and pursuing her interest in journalism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Fredi Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fredi Brown recalls segregation in Bradenton, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fredi Brown recalls speaking up against racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fredi Brown describes her personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fredi Brown discusses her decision to major in home economics at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fredi Brown recalls her professors at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fredi Brown describes her time at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fredi Brown talks about the jobs she held immediately after her college graduation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Fredi Brown talks about moving to Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Fredi Brown describes her first journalism job at the Kansas City Call in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fredi Brown explains how she met her husband
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fredi Brown describes Detroit, Michigan in the 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fredi Brown discusses her job at Bond Bread in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fredi Brown describes the black community in Detroit during the mid-20th Century
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fredi Brown describes the advantages of living in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fredi Brown explains how she became an English teacher in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fredi Brown recalls the Detroit riots of July 27, 1967
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fredi Brown remembers April 4, 1968, the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Fredi Brown describes how she was affected by the 1967 riots
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Fredi Brown talks about why she returned to Bradenton, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fredi Brown talks about Detroit Mayor Coleman Young's personality
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fredi Brown talks about founding the Family Heritage House Museum
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fredi Brown describes moving the Family Heritage House Museum to Manatee Community College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fredi Brown explains her motivation for starting the Family Heritage House Museum
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fredi Brown reflects on the importance of maintaining black history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fredi Brown talks about the educational value of The Heritage House on the Manatee County Community College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fredi Brown recalls naming The Family Heritage House
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Fredi Brown talks about managing The Family Heritage Museum
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Fredi Brown discusses the importance of African American historians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Fredi Brown describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Fredi Brown reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Fredi Brown talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Fredi Brown narrates her photographs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fredi Brown narrates her photographs