At age 15, when Yvonne Brown attended Central High School, there only were 13 Back students. It was 1958 and having moved from small rural community in Oklahoma where she said blacks and Whites went to school together, worked in the fields chopping and picking cotton together, and essentially got along with one another, Kansas City was her first exposure to racism. In Okmulgee, you were taught “to love and respect everybody” regardless of the color of skin. However, in Kansas City things were different. She was introduced to racism, racial slurs, “White Only” and “Colored Only” signs (like the bathrooms at the W.T. Grant Department store) and the other stark reminders that Blacks and Whites were divided, and race relations were not good.
Mother Brown attended Westport Junior College, was a housewife and later joined the Visiting Nurse’s Association where she worked as a home health aide for 30 years. She raised three sons and currently has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The most important things she tries to instill in them, and other young people, is always to respect themselves and others and always to remember that God loves everybody and so should we! When asked how she’d like to be remembered, Mother Brown smiled and said, “…that I am a child of God and I tried to let it be known.
She is preceded into death by Father Elbert Adams; mother Coretha Coker Howell; six brothers, John Kane, Herman Adams, Walter Howell, Elbert Franklin, Oscar Franklin, and Roland Franklin; five sisters, Jackie Busch, Juanita Howell, Bettye Sayles, Devore Franklin Bates, and Linora Franklin Hanson.
Mother Brown is survived by her sons Mario Brown, Raphael Brown and Antwyn Brown; four grandchildren, Dion Ford, Mario Brown Jr, Joshua Brown, and Destini Brown; three great-grandchildren; three brothers, Herbert Franklin, Lester Franklin, and Winfield Jones; six sisters, Savannah Anderson, Clara Jean Ivey, Mildred Ramsey, Charlene Franklin, Mahalia Hawkins and Linda Holland and a host of family and friends.
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