House Bill Set to Commemorate Local Civil Rights Hero
Calvert County Delegation Seeks to Memorialize Harriet Elizabeth Brown
The Calvert County Delegation has introduced House Bill 354, that seeks to memorialize the accomplishments of local civil rights hero, Harriet Elizabeth Brown.
Ms. Brown was a teacher at Mt. Hope Elementary School in Sunderland, MD. She discovered that as an African American teacher she was paid $600.00 a year compared to the $1,100.00 earned by her white counterparts.
In 1937, she sued the Calvert County School Board, with the help of her attorney Thurgood Marshall, to equalize the salaries of all teachers regardless of race. Ms. Brown won her case which paved the way for other civil rights cases across the State of Maryland and the Country.
Delegate Mark N. Fisher (District 27C), the Chair of the Calvert County Delegation, said “It took enormous courage for Harriet Brown to take on the issue of pay inequality. Her strength of character opened doors for thousands of people across our State and led to the Maryland Teachers Pay Equalization Law.”
House Bill 354 would create a task force to study the commemoration of Ms. Brown. She is recognized in Calvert County by a small historical marker on Pushaw Station Road in Sunderland. However, if you did not know it was there already, you probably would not have known it existed.
“We are trying to find a way to appropriately memorialize and commemorate a Calvert Educator who was a leader and visionary”, said Delegate Tony O’Donnell (District 29C). Ms. Brown was a true Civil Rights trailblazer before the Civil Rights movement had even begun. This bill would ensure that Ms. Brown receives the statewide recognition she deserves. “That is great and I am pleased to have a small role in it.”