What was it like to be an African American child in the 1950s?  Learn more about Maxine Brown growing up in Corydon and her family’s impact on education for Blacks in a recent autobiography she supplied for this project.  A complete copy is available in The World Comes to Harrison County Resource Kit available for circulation to schools and to other users.

In addition to her work on the Leora Brown School, among one of Maxine Brown’s most recent honors is recognition of her efforts in organizing the African American Heritage Trail becoming the first African American to receive the Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Historical Society


This is a brief story of Maxine Brown’s most vivid memories of “Growing up in Corydon.” Her full autobiography, just as she wrote it, is available in the African American Scrapbook in Resources Kit. Maxine is also widely remembered by others for her many achievements on behalf of African Americans and their heritage as a historian.

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I Remember That Lovely Hill . . by Maxine Brown

I was born on a cold day in 1944 on a lovely hill in Corydon, the tenth of 11 children.  My mother had come to Corydon to teach in the Colored School in 1923.  After only one year, my parents began a family and she became a "stay at home" mom.  I was the last child born at home.  I built a house and now live on that lovely hill.
I remember . . . Our home was intellectually stimulating.  Mother was known as the best dressed woman in Corydon with bobbed hair and flapper fashions.  She cooked from our garden and loved fresh vegetables.  Mother enouraged us to cook, male and female.
I remember . . . When I started to school in 1951, I didn't attend the Corydon Colored School because it had closed.  I didn't think about being the only Black student in my class, but my mother warned us that some of the students might use racial slurs.  This proved to be true.  I ignored them as instructed.  At first, my classmates didn't ask me to join them during recess, but after observing that I excelled academically, they began to ask me.
I remember . . .Growing up in Corydon was a bit like a "fairy tale."  It was ideal for our family.  I graduated from high school in 1963 and left Corydon.  I returned in 1979 to take care of my aging mother.  Ironically , I built a house and now live on the land that my parents first purchased when they married and where I was born . . . on that lovely hill.