Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 09.11.1941

Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Policy Administrator and Activist

Minnijean Brown-Trickey

*Minnijean Brown-Trickey was born on this date in 1941. She is a Black public policy figure who was a member of the Little Rock Nine.

Minnijean Brown was born to Willie and Imogene Brown in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her father was an independent mason and a landscaping contractor, while her mother was a homemaker and a nurse’s aide. Minnijean was the eldest of four siblings who started high school in 1956 at Horace Mann, an all-black school in Little Rock, AR. She later transferred to Little Rock Central High School in 1957 following the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

In September 1957, with the help of Daisy Bates, a civil rights activist in Central Arkansas, Brown set out to integrate Little Rock Central High School alongside eight other black students. The students originally attempted to enter the school on September 4, 1957 but were stopped by the Arkansas National Guard and called in by Governor Orval Faubus. On September 24, 1957, Brown and the other eight students desegregated Little Rock Central High School.

Despite the troop’s presence at the high school throughout the ‘57-’58 school year, the nine students were physically and verbally harassed by their classmates. Brown was the first suspended out of the Little Rock Nine and the only one to be expelled. Later, a group of white girls threw a purse filled with combination locks at her. She responded by calling the girls “white trash” and was immediately expelled. After her expulsion, students at Central passed a note stating, “One down, eight to go.”

Following the incident, Brown moved to New York and lived with Drs. Kenneth B. and Mamie Clark. She attended the New Lincoln School in Manhattan for 11th and 12th grade. Brown attended Southern Illinois University, where she majored in journalism. In 1967, Brown married Roy Trickey. The couple had six children before divorcing in the 1980s. She lived in Canada for several years in the 1980s and 1990s, where she studied social work and later completed a Master of Social Work degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

She moved back to America and worked for the Clinton Administration from 1999 through 2001 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Workforce Diversity at the Department of the Interior. She’s a public speaker and has received many awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Tribute by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the International Wolf Award, the Spingarn Medal, and an award from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute. Under the Clinton administration, Brown-Trickey received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999 alongside the other members of the Little Rock Nine.

To Become a Social Worker

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

these hips are big hips they need space to move around in. they don't fit into little petty places. these hips are free hips. they don't like to be... HOMAGE TO MY HIPS by Lucille Clifton
Read More