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Andre D. Vann

singer, writer, and socialite, was born Maria Hawkins in the Roxbury section of Boston, Massachusetts. Her father, Mingo Hawkins, was a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, which at the time was considered a prestigious position for an African American; her mother, Carol Saunders, was from Bermuda. Maria was born the second of three daughters, and when she was only two years old her mother died while giving birth to her youngest sister, Carol. Immediately all three girls were sent to live with their father's sister, Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, who was the founder and president of the Palmer Memorial Institute, the nation's most distinguished finishing school for blacks. There Cole was exposed to the likes of Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary McCleod Bethune, and even Eleanor Roosevelt, among other noteworthy guests.

As a student at the Palmer Memorial Institute Cole ...

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Charles Rosenberg

newspaper heiress, editor, and socialite, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the oldest child of publisher Christopher J. Perry and Cora Perry. Her father was born of free parents in Baltimore in 1854 and went to Philadelphia at an early age to get an education denied to children of his color in his native city. In 1884 he established the Philadelphia Tribune, which in time became the oldest continually published newspaper written and edited by, and for, Americans of African descent.

Bertha Perry grew up in the Lombard Street Presbyterian Church, where her parents were members. At the age of twenty-nine she continued to live with her parents and two of her three younger sisters, Beatrice Perry and Ethel Jackson, who all worked as clerks at the newspaper. When their father died in May 1921 Bertha Perry became managing editor and women s editor her sister Beatrice ...