On May 14th to Learn Why Harriet Elizabeth Brown Is Important to Calvert County
You perhaps saw the sign, Harriet Elizabeth Brown Memorial Parkway, when you turned onto Route 2 headed toward Annapolis. You may have attended a meeting at the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center in Prince Frederick. Or you may have spotted the oil portrait of Harriet Elizabeth Brown when you were in the Courthouse.
But how much do you really know about this woman who is called Calvert County’s own civil rights hero? Where did she come from? How did she wind up in Calvert County? Why was she – and not some other teacher – chosen as the plaintiff? What else was going on then? How did she end up with Thurgood Marshall as her lawyer? And why is her legacy such a big deal?
The short answer is that her 1937 14th Amendment lawsuit against the Calvert County Board of Education was a turning point for equal pay for African-American teachers.
But there is much more to her story. For example: Why did the School Board settle, rather than fight? What did Governor Harry Nice do the day after her case settled? And how would her lawsuit have fared if she had protested unequal pay based on sex, rather than race?
The Daughters of the American Revolution and Calvert Library invite you to learn these answers and more on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Calvert Library Prince Frederick. This event will begin with a reception hosted by the DAR. Then Margaret Dunkle, Chair of the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force, will speak about Ms. Brown, followed by questions and discussion.
The Harriet Elizabeth Brown Commemoration Task Force was created by the Maryland Legislature in 2015 to make recommendations to the County Commissioners, Governor and General Assembly. All three Task Force recommendations – the new community center, naming a stretch of Maryland Route 2, and commissioning a Courthouse portrait – have since become reality.
A special treat: Sherman Brown, Ms. Brown’s cousin, will be on hand to share his thoughts about his “Cousin Libby.” In addition, Tyler Cassidy and Edward Williams’s nationally recognized 2017 History Fair exhibit from when they were at Plum Point Middle School – Brown v. Board of Education of Calvert County: Taking a Stand for African-American Teachers – will be on display.
All are invited to next Tuesday’s event – current students and their parents, past students and friends of Harriet Elizabeth Brown, teachers, community leaders, and anyone who just wants to know more about Ms. Brown and Calvert County history.