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Charlotte Hawkins Brown

Famous Educators
Famous Educators

Charlotte Hawkins Brown
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.35

     challenging words:    money-raising, teaching, elite, historic, leadership, tireless, greatly, relationship, segregation, fighter, artistic, core, education, schooling, marriage, advocate
     content words:    Charlotte Hawkins Brown, North Carolina, Salem State Normal School, Alice Freeman Palmer, American Missionary Association, African Americans, Palmer Memorial Institute, Southern Association, Secondary Schools, Edmund S.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Charlotte Hawkins Brown was born on June 11, 1883, in North Carolina. Her grandparents had been slaves. Early in her life, her family moved to Massachusetts. She went to public schools there. She was an excellent student. She was known for being artistic and determined. She put those skills to use as she taught Sunday school classes.
2     Charlotte attended Salem State Normal School. This was thanks to Alice Freeman Palmer. Charlotte had met her during high school. Palmer paid for Charlotte to receive her schooling. Then the American Missionary Association, a group that ran southern schools for African Americans, offered Charlotte a teaching job in North Carolina. She took the job.
3     In 1901, Charlotte began teaching at a one-room school. She developed a close relationship with the students. She found herself buying clothes and school supplies for them. When the school was closed, Charlotte remained and opened her own school. She named the school in memory of her friend. She called it the Palmer Memorial Institute. It began as a day and boarding school for African Americans in a blacksmith's shop. It offered schooling on many levels. It was an agricultural and manual training facility. With Charlotte's guidance and money-raising, the school became an elite institution. It was nationally recognized. She greatly increased its size. Academics and culture became the core. The school became fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. This was truly a rare honor for any black school at the time.

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