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Brown, Letitia Woods (1915–1976) - African-American History

university washington tuskegee institute

The only full-time black faculty member at George Washington University from 1971 to 1976, Letitia Woods Brown was born on October 24, 1915, in Tuskegee,   Alabama, to Mathew and Evadne (Adam) Woods, both members of the Tuskegee Institute (now University). She obtained a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee in 1935, a master’s degree from Ohio State University in 1937, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1966.

From 1935 to 1936 Brown was a teacher in Macon County, Alabama. She then became an instructor in history at Tuskegee Institute from 1937 to 1940. From 1940 to 1945 she was a tutor at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee. She married Theodore E. Brown, an economist with the State Department, in 1947. In 1968 she was senior Fulbright lecturer at Monash University and Australia National University. Brown was also a consultant to the Federal Executive Institute from 1971 to 1973.

While professor of history and American civilization at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., from 1971 until her death in 1976, Letitia Woods Brown helped preserve historical sites of the black community as a member of the Committee on Landmarks of the National Capital. She also wrote several books on the capital. In 1971 she wrote Washington from Banneker to Douglass, 1791–1870 with Elsie M. Lewis. The next year she wrote Washington in the New Era, 1870–1970 , also with Lewis, and Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790–1846 , with Richard Wade. Letitia Woods Brown died of cancer on August 3, 1976, in Washington, D.C.

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