Anna Easter Brown

Like the other young women approached by Ethel Hedgeman during the organization of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Anna Easter Brown was very interested in the idea of a sorority. She had graduated with honors from West Orange High School in Orange, New Jersey, and subsequently entered the Teachers' College Department of Howard University. She received her unusual middle name because she was born on Easter. She was a quietly efficient and reliable individual, but she was also known as being gentle and sweet.

Ms. Brown attended the preliminary meetings at which the constitution, name, motto, and colors of the proposed sorority were discussed. When the first officers were elected, she was elected treasurer. She was also delegated the responsibility of writing a sorority song. She remained in the sorority the following year, one of three founding members to graduate in 1909.

In the fall of 1909, she began teaching at Bricks School in Bricks, North Carolina. She was also an advisor to the YWCA and house-mother for one of the cottages of the school. During her years at Bricks School, she traveled throughout the country and had many articles describing her travels featured in Opportunity, the magazine published by the National Urban League. During this period, Ms. Brown developed her lifelong interest in Black history. She visited the Alice Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina, and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, researching material pertinent to the history of Black people.

In 1926, Ms. Brown left Bricks to accept a teaching appointment at Booker T. Washington High School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Here she taught social studies for more than 30 years. As the years passed, she realized more and more the importance of their history to a people, particularly to a race separated from its originally rich cultural heritage. She organized an annual Negro history exhibit for many years. Her 25th annual exhibition received national publicity.

In addition to her interest in historical research, Ms. Brown was a charter member of the YWCA in Rocky Mount, and was active in local affairs and with the American Teachers' Association. She was a charter member of the Chi Omega Chapter established in Rocky Mount in 1925.

Anna Easter Brown died in May 1957. She is buried in Rocky Mount, the city where she spent most of her life. Many of the people whom she loved, and whose lives were made richer for having known her, still visit and place flowers on her grave. Her contribution to the history of Alpha Kappa Alpha was unique. She made this statement about herself:

"I am not a career woman, but what greater career could one wish than to be an inspiration to her pupils? I have accomplished no great thing but I am steadily working toward a high moral standard and refined womanhood."