Lifelong educator Rachel Hall Brown was born on November 16, 1912, in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Brown’s mother was a homemaker, and her father sold produce that he grew on their farm. She grew up the fourth of fourteen children. As she grew older, she was sent to live with relatives in nearby Baltimore because Glen Burnie did not have a high school for blacks to attend. Brown attended and graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore in 1928. Douglass was also the alma mater of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and entertainers Cab Callaway and Anne Brown.
Upon graduation, Brown planned to attend Morgan State University, but was unable due to financial reasons. Instead she attended Coppin State University where she earned her degree and graduated in 1930. She received her first teaching assignment upon graduation at Skidmore School in Anne Arundel County, where she taught first, second and third grades. In 1932, Brown was reassigned to Jones School, where she met and married her husband, Philip Brown, who was the principal of the two-room school where they both worked. Shortly after her marriage, she and her husband attended classes at Morgan State University where both earned their bachelor’s degrees in education. In 1938, her husband led the effort to sue the Anne Arundel Board of Education for equal pay for African American teachers. The teachers were represented by former Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. In 1955, Brown earned her master’s degree in education from New York University.
In 1966, Brown helped to integrate Anne Arundel County public schools when she was one of the first black teachers assigned to teach at Tyler Heights School. In 1970, Brown was appointed to the White House Conference on Children and Youth, an organization that promoted understanding of child development and fostering children’s mental and emotional health. Brown retired from the school system in 1973.
Brown passed away on April 12, 2012 at age 99.
Marley Neck School
Frederick Douglass High School
Coppin State University
Morgan State University
New York University
Thank you, God.
District of Columbia
Hen (Cornish), Crabcakes
Elementary school teacher and high school teacher Rachel Brown (1912 - 2012 ) was an educator for over four decades, and was instrumental in integrating Anne Arundel County in Maryland. In 1970, Brown was appointed to the White House Conference on Children and Youth.
Jones Elementary School
Tyler Heights School
Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rachel Brown interview
Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rachel Brown lists her favorites
Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rachel Brown recalls her mother
Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rachel Brown relates how her parents met
Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rachel Brown remembers her father
Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rachel Brown discusses her family background
Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rachel Brown shares childhood memories
Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rachel Brown describes her siblings
Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rachel Brown describes her childhood community
Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rachel Brown recalls her elementary school
Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rachel Brown discusses the intersection of school and church life
Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rachel Brown recounts her high school years
Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rachel Brown remembers her college aspirations
Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rachel Brown reflects on her college experience
Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rachel Brown recalls her first teaching job
Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rachel Brown recalls teaching at Skidmore School
Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rachel Brown details the effects of 'Brown vs. Board of Education' on school integration in Maryland
Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rachel Brown describes her teaching career after integration
Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rachel Brown shares her thoughts on integration
Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rachel Brown discusses the changes needed in elementary school education
Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rachel Brown remembers the White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1970
Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rachel Brown discusses contemporary education issues
Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rachel Brown discusses the need for mothers to be in the home
Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rachel Brown reflects on her life and career
Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rachel Brown offers her advice to educators
Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rachel Brown reflects on her career and family life