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Easter Brown interview, 2022-01-06

Identifier: rwhc_ohp_2022_005.wav

Content Description

From the Collection:

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


  • Creation: 2022-01-06


Biographical / Historical

Ms. Easter F. Brown was born in Marshville, North Carolina, on April 28th, 1941, to Zenni and Frank S. Claudle. Ms. Brown grew up on a farm with her parents and ten siblings, where her father worked as a sharecropper. The whole family helped raise crops, and Ms. Brown began working in the field after school by the age of six. Though there were few recreational activities in her childhood, Ms. Brown did go to the movies, an activity she enjoys to this day. She attended Piney Grove Elementary School and graduated from East Union High School in 1959. Tired of the difficulties of farming life, Ms. Brown made the decision to leave North Carolina after graduating high school. Her parents were supportive about her decision and introduced her aunt, who lived in Washington D.C. Riding the train, she made the decision to join the Great Migration crowd and came to Washington D.C. When first arrived, she lived with her aunt and had a job as a babysitter for a white doctor. She was responsible for taking care of 4 children, 7 days a week but was only paid 25 dollars per week. In 1962, Ms. Brown got married, and she went on to work at the record store owned by her then husband for several years. After their divorce, Ms. Brown began a career in the food industry, where she continued until her retirement in 2004. She has over 25 years of experience in the industry and worked at the White House for 7 years. Ms. Brown is really into movies–some influence from her youths; it is a huge source of happiness in her life. Besides watching movies, she is also likely to travel around. Despite living in Washington for over five decades, Ms. Brown still considers herself as southerner and will sometimes go back to visit. She recently went back to North Carolina to attend her relatives’ funeral.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

Language of Materials



In this oral history interview, Easter Brown discusses her life and experiences moving from Marshville, North Carolina, to Washington, DC, in 1959. Recalling her upbringing in Marshville, Ms. Brown talks about her early educational experiences, her family’s work as sharecroppers, and racial segregation in her hometown. Ms. Brown talks about her decision to move to Washington, finding work in the city, meeting her husband and raising her children, and the changes she’s seen in her neighborhood. Throughout the interview, Ms. Brown is prompted to reflect on her move to D.C. and the differences between North Carolina and Washington. 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