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date: 11 December 2019

Brown, Charlotte Eugenia Hawkinslocked

(11 June 1883–11 January 1961)
  • Edward L. Lach, Jr.

Extract

Brown, Charlotte Eugenia Hawkins (11 June 1883–11 January 1961), educator, was born Lottie Hawkins in Henderson, North Carolina, the daughter of Edmund H. Hight, a brick mason, and Caroline Frances Hawkins. Accounts vary as to whether her father and mother separated before or after her birth, and it is also unclear as to whether her parents ever married. After her mother married Nelson Willis, Lottie (as she was called until she changed her name to Charlotte Eugenia in high school) relocated with nineteen members of her extended family to Massachusetts in 1888. By joining the widespread migration of African Americans, the family hoped to enjoy greater economic opportunities and a better life. After settling in Cambridge, her stepfather worked odd jobs to support the family while her mother boarded African-American Harvard students, operated a laundry, and baby-sat. Hawkins began her elementary education at the Allston School in Cambridge, where she befriended two of ...

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