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

Leatrice Branch Madison

Share on Social Media

Information about Leatrice Branch Madison

Profile image of Leatrice Branch Madison

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pudding (Corn)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/5/1922
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pudding (Corn)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/5/1922
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Leatrice Branch Madison is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic leader, retired educator, and community activist Leatrice Branch Madison, was born September 5, 1922 in Washington, D.C. to Julia Bailey Branch and Hayes Branch. She was the oldest of three daughters. She attended the racially segregated public schools of Washington, D.C., graduating from Dunbar Senior High in 1939. Madison went on to earn a bachelor’s of science degree (cum laude) from Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. in 1943 and a master’s of arts degree in guidance and personnel from the University of Chicago in 1947.

Madison taught in the public schools of Washington, D.C. from 1943 to 1949 and Cleveland, Ohio between 1949-1951 and again later from 1954-1960, before becoming a fulltime wife, mother, homemaker and community volunteer in 1960. During this time, she also worked as an assistant librarian at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1951-1952). Madison has served on the boards of numerous educational and human services organizations, including the Bingham Day Nursery, United Way Services, the Federation for Community Planning, Case Western Reserve University Board of Overseers, and Blue Cross of Northeast Ohio. Madison was a founding member of Heights Citizens for Human Rights—forerunner of Heights Community Congress--an organization established to ensure equal rights and fair housing for minorities moving into Cleveland Heights. She was also a founder of and one of the original board members for HARAMBEE: Services to Black Families, an agency designed to provide parenting skills to teenage parents and to recruit permanent adoptive homes for Black youngsters.

Madison’s devotion to community service also inspired committee work with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Friends of Karamu, the NAACP Fund Dinner, Case Western Reserve University’s Visiting Committee on the Humanities, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra Advisory Council, the Planned Parenthood Long Range Planning Committee, and the Juvenile Court Youth Services Advisory Board, among others. In 1963, she helped launch the Cleveland Heights / University Heights Summer School Project, recruiting participants from the Cleveland Public Schools and raising funds to offer financial assistance to those in need. The project, which ended in 1969, helped pave the way for the integration of the Cleveland Heights / University Heights Schools.

Madison is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NAACP’s Distinguished Service Plaque, the Federation for Community Planning’s President’s Award, Who’s Who Among Black Americans, and the University of Chicago Alumni Association’s Public Service Award. In 1999, Mrs. Madison and her husband Robert P. Madison received the Cleveland Opera Award for their visionary support of the arts in Cleveland. In 2004, she was honored by the Golden Age Centers for her many years of community service. Madison is an alumna member and former president of the Links, Incorporated, Cleveland Chapter.

Madison and her husband, Robert, reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

Madison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 14, 2004.\

Leatrice Madison passed away on March 30, 2012.

See how Leatrice Branch Madison is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leatrice Branch Madison's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her childhood home in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the schools she and her siblings attended
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes her school years in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls being in teachers college as the United States entered World War II
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls how she met and married her husband, HistoryMaker Robert P. Madison
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her husband's experience in the 92nd Infantry during World War II
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leatrice Branch Madison remembers the 1930s and 1940s
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her grandparents and the death of her grandmothers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the political affiliations of Washington, D.C.'s African American community during the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about voting rights for Washington, D.C. residents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her mother's influence on her own civic engagement and her parent's attempt to buy a house
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about living in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls her time living in Paris, France, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls her time living in Paris, France, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls returning to the U.S. and teaching in Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her daughters and Karamu
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes enduring racist terror in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison describes the racial demographics of Cleveland Heights, Ohio when her family moved there in 1960
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about people who lived in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and her involvement in community organizations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her neighbors in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and integrating a summer school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her experience with the education system in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison recalls when she began to see changes in the racial demographics of students in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about a recommendation she made for inner city schools in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the HARAMBEE adoption program
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her involvement with the Women's Committee of the Cleveland Orchestra
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her volunteer efforts through Jack and Jill and The Links, Incorporated
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about Project Discovery and United Way Services
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about predominantly black organizations The Links, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about the importance of education reform and her concerns for the 21st century
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about fundraising
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leatrice Branch Madison talks about her grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leatrice Branch Madison reflects upon her success and awards she has received
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leatrice Branch Madison remembers moving to Paris, France and serving on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leatrice Branch Madison narrates her photographs