- Published in Black History 365 Days
Where it all Began is a continuation of the story Summers to Remember. Brown-Avery takes her readers through history beginning with her great great grandfather, Charlie Jurallus Applewhite White, the beginning legacy of the White family. Her great great grandmother, Mary Kearney was the property owner of the White family farm, where Brown-Avery and her sisters resided those summers long ago. As her story unfolds, Brown-Avery, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, depicts a time when racial prejudice and segregation of public schools were enforced during the early 1960s. Brown-Avery and her sisters attended segregated schools until the untimely death of one of the most historical figures in the world, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Avery’s parents resided in the ghetto in Wilmington, yet her parents were an upper middle class family. Avery’s mother, Anita White Brown, was a schoolteacher with the New Hanover County School System, while her stepfather, Harold Dennis Brown, was a fireman on the Wilmington Fire Department. Avery discusses what it was like to live through one of the most devastating nights in American History, the riot of the Wilmington Ten versus the white supremacist. Avery gives a vivid account of this night, as well as her first encounters with integration into an all white school. The book features more accounts of Annie the mule along with the fun the sisters had during those early years. Avery takes her readers on a journey in time to where it all began, and how these adventures has made her and the sisters, strong African-American women today.
Our father died when I was 9 years-old. I can still remember it as though it happened yesterday. I was born Cheryl Denise Brown, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina. There are three sisters, Harriet, Angela and I. Harriet was 7 years-old and Angela was 18 months-old.
Our mother, Anita White Brown is a former New Hanover County School teacher and now retired from The Franklin County School System, Louisburg, North Carolina. Our father, the late Harry Henry Brown, Jr. was in the Military, United States Army and after his honorable discharge he was a New Hanover County School teacher in Wilmington, North Carolina.
As girls, it was hard at times growing up without a father. Later mother remarried my step-father Lieutenant Harold D. Brown, Retired of the Wilmington Fire Department.He was a great father although he wasn’t our biological father. Sometimes I think about how much we missed our deceased father and how we grew up in this world without having him around or just being there to listen to us when we had problems. I think about the school proms and graduations my father missed and it hurts so much.