Inventory of the Millicent E. Brown Papers, 1949 - 2003

Magnifying Glass What is this document?

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Millicent Ellison Brown (b. 1948) is an educator and civil rights activist. Born in Charleston to MaeDe and J. Arthur Brown, local and state president of NAACP (1955-1965), Brown, in 1963, replaced her older sister Minerva as the primary plaintiff in a NAACP-sponsored lawsuit (Millicent Brown vs. Charleston County School District #20).
The collection consists of personal and professional documents, correspondence, and newspaper clippings relating to Millicent Brown's experience integrating Rivers High School; studying at Howard University and Florida State University; and teaching at Bennett College, Guilford College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and the Governor's School of the College of Charleston. Other documents pertain to Brown's involvement with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Avery Research Center, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations, and other political and civic activities. Brown's writings focus on the Civil Rights Movement in Charleston, South Carolina and include papers given at conferences and her essay "The Dippity Doo Revolution: Or Grown Folks Don't Have a Clue."
Title: Millicent E. Brown Papers, 1949 - 2003
Creator: Brown, Millicent Ellison, 1948-.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1003
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 2.75 linear feet
(6 archival boxes)

Biographical Note

In 1948, Millicent Ellison Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina to MaeDe and J. Arthur Brown. Her father was the local and state president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1963, Millicent replaced her older sister Minerva as the primary plaintiff in a NAACP-sponsored lawsuit Millicent Brown versus Charleston County School District #20. Filed to desegregate the Charleston public school system, the lawsuit resulted in Brown becoming one of two African Americans students to integrate Rivers High School in 1963.

Graduating from Rivers High School in 1966, Brown the attended the College of Charleston and received her B.A. in History, 1975. She received her M.Ed. in Education from The Citadel in 1978.

From 1989 to 1991, Brown served as the Director of Exhibits and Museum Education at the Avery Research Center.

Brown earned a Ph.D. in History from Florida State University in 1997, writing her dissertation on history of civil rights activism in Charleston from 1940 to 1970.

Brown has taught at several universities in North Carolina and South Carolina, including Bennett College (1995-1999), Guilford College (1999-2002), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (2001-2002), and The Governor's School at the College of Charleston (2002).

Brown is currently in the History and Sociology department at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC


Collection Overview

The collection consists of personal and professional documents, correspondence, and newspaper clippings relating to Millicent Brown's experience integrating Rivers High School; studying at Howard University and Florida State University; and teaching at Bennett College, Guilford College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and the Governor's School of the College of Charleston. Other documents pertain to Brown's involvement with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Avery Research Center, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations, and other political and civic activities. Brown's writings focus on the Civil Rights Movement in Charleston, South Carolina and include papers given at conferences. Her essay "The Dippity Doo Revolution: Or Grown Folks Don't Have a Clue" was included in Children of the Dream: Our own stories of Growing Up Black in America.

The Avery Research Center's Library has a copy of Brown's dissertation, Civil Rights Activism in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown is also featured on four "Non-Commercial Videos," located in the Avery Reading Room: Midday Program, Channel 5 with Millicent Brown,Collections Workshop, Stern Center Ballroom, Don West and Millicent Brown, Funeral Artifacts and "Charleston's Chinese Box".

Collection Arrangement

1. Biographical Papers, 1984-2002.

2. Affiliations, 1949-2003.

3. Writings by Millicent Brown, Undated.

4. Audio-Visual Materials, 1988-1996.

5. Miscellaneous, 1988-2003.



Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American college teachers.
  • African Americans -- Education -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History -- 20th century.
  • African American universities and colleges.
  • Avery Research Center.
  • Bennett College (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • Brown, J. Arthur, 1914-1988.
  • Brown, Millicent Ellison, 1948-
  • Brown, Millicent Ellison, 1948- -- Trials, litigation, etc.
  • Charleston County School District No. 20 (S.C.) -- Trials, litigation, etc.
  • College of Charleston. Governor's School.
  • Florida State University.
  • Guilford College.
  • Howard University.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Charleston Branch (Charleston, S.C.)
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
  • Race discrimination -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History.
  • Rivers High School (Charleston, S.C.) -- History.
  • School integration -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History.
  • Social action -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Biographical Papers, 1984-2002.

Box 1   Folder 1
Business and Name Cards
Includes business cards from her positions at universities and a membership card with American Civil Liberties Union.
Box 1   Folder 2
Curriculum Vitae, 2001-2002.
Box 1   Folder 3
Personal Planners and Calendars: Academic and Social Itinerary, 1991-1993
Box 1   Folder 4
Letters to Brown: Professional, 1984-2002
Includes letters written to Millicent Brown regarding her political, professional, educational, and social involvements, 1984-2002.
Box 1   Folder 5
Letters to Brown: Personal, 1987-2001
Includes personal letters to Millicent Brown written by professional associates, students and family, 1987-2001 and undated. Also includes a handwritten note and graduation invitation from Dr. Henrie Monteith Tredwell, first African American woman to attend University of South Carolina, in 1963.
Box 1   Folder 6
Essay Drafts and Other Material, 1990-2000
Includes "The Dippity Doo Revolution: or Grown Folks Don't Have a Clue" in which Millicent Brown worries how her Dippity Doo hair will survive the transition to the previously all-white Rivers High School. Also includes "Black Colleges in the Year 2000" regarding Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina and handwritten notes.
Box 1   Folder 7
Interview Transcript, circa 1990.
Includes transcript of a 1990 interview with Millicent Brown conducted by Jennifer Cohen for her class paper, "Equality in Education." The interview focuses on the impact of the Brown versus Topeka Board of Education decision thirty years later. Millicent Brown discusses "being used as a desegregation guinea pig," in the Millicent Brown versus Charleston County School District #20 in 1963; her father J. Arthur Brown, president of the Charleston chapter NAACP; and Millicent Brown's lawyer, Constance Baker Motley, the first black female United States federal judge.
Box 1   Folder 8
Certificates and Awards, 1989-1997
Box 1   Folder 9
Newspaper Article: Millicent Brown, 1999
Includes original and photocopies of a newspaper article about detailing Millicent Brown's civil rights involvement in the 1950s and 1960s, the integration of Rivers High School, and Brown's essay "The Dippity Doo Revolution" or "Grown Folks Don't Have a Clue."
Box 1   Folder 10
Newspaper Articles: Minerva King, 1990s
Includes photocopies of newspaper articles regarding Minerva Brown King, Millicent's sister. Includes coverage of the Charleston sit-in at the Kress department store and The Griot.

2. Affiliations, 1949-2003.

2.1. Institutions and Organizations

Box 1   Folder 11
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Christmas Debutante Program, 1966
Box 1   Folder 12
Avery Research Center, 1989-1996
Includes programs, pamphlets, and photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding Avery Research Center with Millicent Brown as Director of Exhibits and Museum Education.
Box 1   Folder 13
Charleston Branch of the NAACP, 1949, 1955, and 1990
Includes newspaper clippings, agenda, general membership meeting information, and form letter regarding the Charleston branch of the NAACP.
Box 1   Folder 14
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparation in America, 1998-2000
Includes a letter, newsletters, flyers, pamphlets, and magazines regarding National Coalition of Blacks for Reparation in America, 1998-2000.
Box 1   Folder 15
Political, Social, and Women's Organizations, 1995-1997
Includes letters, newsletters, and flyers regarding Brown's involvement in political, social, and women organizations, including the American Civil Liberties of North Carolina and National Organization of Women, 1995-1997 and undated.

2.2. Schools and Colleges

Box 1   Folder 16
Howard University
Includes graduate school guidelines, research application, and pamphlets regarding Howard University, where Brown briefly attended graduate school, 1986-1987.
Box 1   Folder 17
Guilford College, 1999-2002.
Includes materials relating to MIllicent Brown's tenure as History professor at Guilford College such as correspondence, catalog, faculty resume, syllabus for Brown's class, reading course pack, programs in which she participated; student papers, newspaper clippings, flyers, handwritten notes, and campus newsletters. Also includes The Student Activist containing an interview with Brown regarding African American history and activism.
Box 1   Folder 18
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 2001-2002
Includes materials relating to Brown's tenure as Visiting Professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University such as an issue of The Register, an interview with Millicent Brown as chief plaintiff in the Brown v. School District #20 case, program entitled Celebrating the 42nd Anniversary of the Sit-In Movement, published journal, and research on 20th century and world history.
Box 1   Folder 19
The Governor's School at the College of Charleston, 2002-2003
Includes materials relating to Millicent Brown's tenure as history professor at The Governor's School at the College of Charleston such as a syllabus for her classes, 20th and 21st Century Woman Activists of the World, teacher and student evaluations, correspondence and memoranda, programs, a 2003 planning calendar, scholarly essays written by others, and handwritten notes.
Box 1   Folder 20
Student Papers, Drafts, and Note Cards, 1963-1969 and 1991-1992
Includes student papers, drafts and note cards, typed and handwritten by Brown, 1963-1969, 1991-1992 and undated.
Box 1   Folder 21
Scholarly Essays, 1989-1991 and undated
Includes writings on United history to 1877, Southern history 18th-20th centuries; reviews of history books; civil rights in the South and Charleston.

2.3. Schools and Colleges: Bennett College

This subseries includes materials related to the history of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where Millicent Brown held a teaching position as a history professor, 1995-1999.
Box 2   Folder 1
Bennett College: History and General Information, 1995-1999
Includes materials related to the history of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where Millicent Brown held a teaching position as a History professor, 1995-1999. Includes a calendar of events noting Brown's first year as professor, newsletters, catalogs, Faculty Factbook, and published essay,"Dr. Willa B. Player, President."
Box 2   Folder 2
Bennett College: Newsletters, 1997-2000
"This Week at BC;"The Bennett Banner, Newspaper,"The Bennett Connection" and "Big Belle Rings Ting A Ling."
Box 2   Folder 3
Bennett College: Correspondence, 1995-2000
Includes letters, memorandums, invitations, and cards; an unsigned typed copy of Faculty Contract; and a typed draft of Bennett Scholars Annual Report submitted by Millicent Brown, 1995-2000 and undated.
Box 2   Folder 4
Bennett College: Newspaper Clippings, 1998-2000
Includes booklet "Bennett College: In the News."
Box 2   Folder 5
Bennett College: Student Grievances and Administration Issues, 1999-2000
Includes memoranda, letters and drafts of essays, photocopies of newspaper clippings, regarding student grievances and administration problems at Bennett College. Includes a typed draft by Brown and other faculty and staff as a letter to the editor. Also includes extensive newspaper coverage regarding allegations against Dr. Gloria R. Scott, President of the College, leading to her resignation.
Box 2   Folder 6
Bennett College: History Department, 1996-1999
Includes photocopies of travel request, flyers, and syllabus regarding a course taught by Millicent Brown as well as materials related to Bennett College's History Department classes, conference, and activities, 1996-1999 and undated.
Box 2   Folder 7
Bennett College: Conferences and Activities, 1998-2000
Includes programs and flyers regarding miscellaneous conferences and activities at Bennett, 1998-2000.
Box 2   Folder 8
Bennett College: Agora Project, 1997-1999
Includes correspondence, memorandums, proposals, grant application, and reports regarding the Agora Project, 1997-1999. The Agora Project, directed by Millicent Brown, was a grant-funded cooperative program regarding the southern Civil Rights Movement.
Box 2   Folder 9
Bennett College: Women's Leadership Institute, 1997-1999
Includes correspondence, memorandums, handwritten notes, agendas, newsletters and newspaper clippings regarding programs sponsored by the Woman's Leadership Institute at Bennett College, 1997-1999. With information on program, "The Civil Rights Movement and Greensboro's Role;""Commemorating the February 11 visit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bennett College;" The Bennett College Social Justice Lecture Series, Volume 1; and conference materials from Women in World Community Development (WorldWID) Fellows program.
Box 3   Folder 1
Bennett College: Teens Leed, 1998-1999
Includes correspondence, handwritten notes, flyers, conference materials, newspaper clippings materials regarding Teens Leed program, in which Millicent Brown served as a Faculty Program Coordinator.
Box 3   Folder 2
Bennett College: Student Recommendations and Faculty Curricula Vitae
Includes correspondence regaridng student requests for recommendations and vitae from fellow professors, 1990-1999, and undated.

2.4. Schools and Colleges: Rivers High School

This subseries contains materials related to Millicent Brown's integration of Rivers High School in Charleston, South Carolina.
Box 3   Folder 3
Newspaper Article on Integration, 1963
Includes photocopy of a 1963 New York Times article regarding school integration, featuring a photo of Brown speaking with fellow classmates.
Box 3   Folder 4
Rivers High School: Yearbooks, 1964-1966
Box 3   Folder 5
Rivers High School: Graduation, 1966
Includes diplomas, high school graduation invitation; school songs and tassel with "Bears" pin for mortar board.

2.5. Schools and Colleges: Florida State University

This subseries contains materials related to Millicent Brown's tenure as a doctoral student at Florida State University.
Box 4   Folder 1
Florida State University: Steno Pads and Notes, 1991-1998
Box 4   Folder 2
Florida State University: Notebook, Exam Booklet, and Notes, 1991-1992
Box 4   Folder 3
Florida State University: Notebook with Handwritten Notes and Exam Questions, 1992
Box 4   Folder 4
Florida State University: History Department, Class Directory, Transcripts, and Flyers, 1993
Includes regulations booklet for graduate work in History Department, handwritten notes, directory of classes, unofficial transcripts, newsletters and flyers.
Box 4   Folder 5
Florida State University: Dissertation Funding, 1997-1998
Includes correspondence regarding Florida State University dissertation funding from United Negro College Fund and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Programs, 1997-1998.
Box 4   Folder 6
Florida State University: Dissertation and Interview
Includes documents regarding Millicent Brown's dissertation research; typed draft of abstract; and an interview with Marylee Davis and consent form.

3. Writings by Millicent Brown, Undated.

Box 4   Folder 7
"Wishin', Hopin, Prayin' and Votin': Black Charleston's Efforts to Merge Politics and Race, 1940-1970"
Includes photocopy of a paper given by Millicent Brown at The Citadel Conference on Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina, titled "Wishin', Hopin, Prayin' and Votin': Black Charleston's Efforts to Merge Politics and Race, 1940-1970," regarding political friction and psychological challenges in struggle for social change and equal rights.

4. Audio-Visual Materials, 1988-1996.

Box 5   Folder 1
Photographs: Color and Black-and-White, 1990-1996 and undated.
Includes an image of Millicent Brown with historian Peter Wood at the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston; group photograph of participants of the Gallup Leadership Institute conference; and other unidentified photographs.
Box 5   Folder 2
Filmstrips and Audiocassettes, 1988
Includes 35 mm filmstrips with audio cassette tapes, 1988: Black Heroes, Teachers and Preachers, Cowboys and Other Heroes; Fighters for Freedom, and Builders and Dreamers in which Millicent Brown was the Visual Researcher.
Box 5   Folder 3
Black Heroes, Teachers and Preachers: Teacher's Manual, 1988

5. Miscellaneous, 1988-2003.

Box 6   Folder 1
Gallup Leadership Institute: People's Choice Award
Includes award from the Gallup Leadership Institute: People's Choice Award, with Millicent Brown named as Vision Leader.
Box 6   Folder 2
Conferences and Seminar on African American Civil Rights, 1990-2001
Includes programs, newspaper clippings and flyers regarding conferences and seminars related to African American civil rights and political concerns, 1990-2001 and undated.
Box 6   Folder 3
Honorable Reginald E. Gilliam Jr., 1982-1998
Includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, and speeches related to the Honorable Reginald E. Gilliam Jr., co-founder of the Harvard Black Law School Association.
Box 6   Folder 4
Archival Repositories in Charleston and Washington, D.C.
Includes brochures and pamphlets regarding archival repositories in Charleston, South Carolina and Washington, D.C., undated
Box 6   Folder 5
Museum Exhibits and Lectures, 1999-2002
Includes printed programs, brochures, and flyer about museum exhibits and lectures, 1999-2002 and undated.
Box 6   Folder 6
Historic Sites in Alexandria, Virginia, 2002
Includes programs, brochures and flyers regarding museums and historic sites in Alexandria, Virginia, 2002.
Box 6   Folder 7
Smithsonian Museums and Cultural Programs, 2002
Includes catalogs, brochures, programs and flyers regarding various museums of the Smithsonian and cultural programs in Washington, D.C., 2002.
Box 6   Folder 8
South Carolina Museums and Cultural Institutions, 1988-1993
Includes catalogs, programs, brochures and flyer regarding museums and cultural institutions in South Carolina, 1988-1993 and undated.
Box 6   Folder 9
Ephemera, undated
Includes emphemera collected by Millicent Brown. Materials include stationary (soiled) from The Kinte Library Project, San Francisco, California, directed by Alex Haley; Golden Legacy Illustrated History Magazine: The Saga of Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Birth of Haiti; tickets stubs from plays.
Box 6   Folder 10
Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, 1993-1999
Box 6   Folder 11
Magazines and Newsletters on African American Life, 1998-2002


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Millicent E. Brown Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, 2005

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010, and Amanda Ross, February 2011

Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection.

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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