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Judy Brown interview, 2022-11-23

Identifier: rwhc_ohp_2022_001.wav

Content Description

From the Collection:

Oral history interviews recorded by students in the Real World History class at Center for Inspired Teaching.


  • Creation: 2022-11-23


Biographical / Historical

Judy Brown is a fifth-grade American History teacher and grade-level dean at Georgetown Day School. Though Ms. Brown was born in Greensboro, NC, she grew up in Durham with her two siblings, Jacqueline (Jackie) and Jennifer (Jen), and her parents, Walter and Ozie Brown. Ms. Brown had a wonderful family and community life during childhood: she was friends with everyone who lived in her neighborhood; many of the people in the community belonged to the same organizations; and her family attended an all-Black church. However, Ms. Brown’s life in North Carolina was at a time when everything was segregated in the South, including the schools. In 1965, when Ms. Brown was 14 years old, her family moved to the D.C. region after her father took a job at the Department of Labor. The Browns were the first Black family to move into their Silver Spring neighborhood. In Maryland, Ms. Brown attended Montgomery Blair High School, and went on to attend Hampton University (then Hampton Institute) after graduating in 1969. Ms. Brown worked at a life insurance company after graduating from Hampton in 1973. When Ms. Brown first entered the teaching profession, she taught fifth grade in DCPS. She also did a lot of substitute teaching in Montgomery County at that time because there were lots of teacher layoffs. In 1980, Ms. Brown started teaching at a small independent school called the Owl School, and she would remain there until 2003 when the school closed. Ms. Brown then began teaching at Georgetown Day School, making 2023 her 20th year at GDS. Ms. Brown continues to teach at GDS today, and she is an active member of the Xi Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

Language of Materials



In this oral history interview, Ms. Judy Brown, a teacher at Georgetown Day School, discusses her life and experiences moving from Durham, North Carolina, to the D.C. region. Ms. Brown recalls her upbringing and early educational experiences in Durham, particularly her experience integrating her junior high school. She then recalls her family’s move to Silver Spring, Maryland, in the summer of 1965 and their experience moving into an all-white neighborhood. She also discusses her high school experience in Montgomery County and her decision to attend Hampton University. Ms. Brown reflects on the impact of her family’s move to the D.C. region on her life and talks about her decision to stay in D.C. when the rest of her family returned to North Carolina in 1980. She also is asked to reflect on issues such as whether she considers herself a southerner, the importance of her southern upbringing, and whether she thinks of North Carolina as her home. Throughout the interview, Ms. Brown talks about her career as an educator, discussing why she was drawn to the profession, why she became an elementary school teacher, and why she loves teaching history (and thinks it’s so important). This oral history interview was conducted by a D.C. high school student as part of a class assignment on the Great Migration in Real World History.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001