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*Julia Brooks was born on this date in 1882. She was a Black teacher, administrator, and community activist.
Julia Evangeline Brooks was one of ten children born to Walter Henderson Brooks and Eva Holmes Brooks in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father, a slave as a child, grabbed the chance for education, earning B.A. and theology degrees from Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania, in 1873. He became the pastor of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, DC.
Brooks attended Sumner Magruder Elementary School and M Street High School during her youth, later Dunbar High School. After graduating high school, Brooks enrolled in Miner Normal School, a training school for teachers. She taught primary school for a few years, and then Brooks went on to Howard University for more education. It was one of the top two historically black colleges in the nation, at a time when only 1/3 of 1% of African Americans and 5% of whites of eligible age attended any college.
She was one of several members who were early supporters of incorporating Alpha Kappa Alpha to provide for its future expansion. As a result, Brooks, Nellie Quander, Norma Boyd, Nellie Pratt Russell, Minnie B. Smith, and Ethel Jones Mowbray incorporated Alpha Kappa Alpha on January 29, 1913. Brooks served as treasurer of the directorate until 1923. She wrote an early history of the sorority, which she gave at the 1923 Boulé in Baltimore, Maryland. She presented a lecture at Founders' Day at Xi Omega on January 30, 1924.
Career and later life
After graduation from Howard University with a B.A. degree in 1916, Brooks was qualified to teach at the high school level. She taught Spanish and English for six years at Dunbar High School. Brooks went on to graduate study during summers at Columbia University in New York City and received her Master of Arts in 1928. Brooks was assistant principal at Dunbar High School for 26 years. She was also appointed Dean of Girls.
Because the District was part of the Federal government, Black teachers in the public schools were paid on the same scale as whites. Brooks directly assisted six nieces and nephews with obtaining a college education by support, taking them to special events, tutoring when necessary, and contributing financially. Julia Brooks died on November 24, 1948.