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Luther Brown

artist, illustrator, and activist, was born Dolphus Smith Jr. to Dolphus Smith Sr., a construction worker, and Lottie Hall, a schoolteacher, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dolphus Sr. and Lottie had met and married in their native Georgia and migrated north for better jobs and greater opportunity. Dolphus Jr. was the eldest of their four children: he had two brothers, Ronald Earl (deceased) and Thomas, and a sister, Raziyah.

The family established itself in a working-class community in North Philadelphia, and they took advantage of all that the city had to offer. Lottie, who had been keenly interested in literature and the arts, gave up teaching and devoted herself to her family. She kept abreast of cultural events, poetry (especially the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar and art exhibits that might interest and inspire her children They attended dance performances by the Dance Theatre of ...