Dr. Charotte Hawkins Brown Installation
The NC Equitable Pride & Heritage Project seeks to erect meaningful and thought provoking art installations which promote the diverse contributions of prominent figures from North Carolina History. The first project will be an art installation of Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown which will be installed in Downtown Greensboro. At just 19 years of age, Hawkins-Brown opened a school to educate African Americans from the South.
Charlotte Brown Hawkins: Charlotte Hawkins Brown was an educator and landowner. Charlotte Hawkins was born in Henderson, North Carolina in 1883. She was educated in Cambridge Massachusetts in Harvard’s backyard, and developed a passion for education. She was offered a teaching position in North Carolina and returned to north Carolina in 1901 to challenge the status quo as it pertained to educational opportunity for blacks in the rural South. The school in which she taught closed one year later, but she was determine to remain on mission and successfully raised money to found the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, NC in Guilford County.
Hawkins Brown continued to expand the school in both curriculum and size. The school ultimately rested on over 350 acres of land, and gained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Hawkins went on to become a prominent lecturer, research ,and religious leader. During her 50 year occupancy as President of Palmer Memorial Institute, almost 1000 students graduated with both an education and a sense of pride in themselves in their community.
CHARLOTTE HAWKINS BROWN ART INSTALLATION
The proposed Design Concept would include a representation of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, surrounded by various representations of students who would have attended Palmer Memorial Institute. Each student would have an inscription of an insightful or inspirational quote or ideal embodied by Charlotte Hawkins Brown. The students in the circle would represent students who went on to achieve notable accomplishments or careers after graduating from Palmer Memorial Institute. While the backside, or outside of the circle would be nondescript resembling the fact the circle can be or include anyone, by entering inside the circle you are able to discern additional details about the individuals inside the circle which may be represented by additional interior inscriptions, plaques embedded inside the circle, or carvings which provide additional detail when illuminated.
In order to encourage equitable pride in the heritage and history of North Carolina, we are proposing to erect a meaningful and educational art installation which celebrates contributions of people of diverse backgrounds to North Carolina history, starting with Charlotte Hawkins Brown.
The art installation would be erected in Downtown Greensboro, and would display a plaque detailing the life and contributions of the honoree. The project’s chief objective would be to educate, as well as to establish a sense of pride and promise for the young children in our community.
NCEPH Project Details
As Black, Hispanic and Native American history education is also relatively narrow in scope as compared to other relics and accounts of history, this statue wouldprovide a broader awareness and a more inclusive historical representation of our community’s evolution. We hope for this to be the first of many installations which honor diverse contributions to our local community.
African, Hispanic and Native American contributions to our society are often overlooked or not spoken of, leaving children of color with no aspirational models or examples of people who look like them, who dared to break through the molds and limitations that society placed on them to achieve excellence and make the communities in which they resided ultimately better and