Musette Brooks Gregory

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Musette Brooks Gregory
BornOctober 10, 1876
Washington D.C.
DiedJuly 26, 1921
Mount McGregor, Saratoga County, New York, USA
OccupationSuffragist
Known forNew Jersey Suffrage Ratification Committee, Working Girls’ Home, New Jersey Foundation of Colored Women’s Club, Colored Mission of the Diocesan Auxiliary of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Musette Brooks Gregory (1876-1921) was an African American suffragist and civil rights activist.

Personal Aspirations[edit]

Brooks became a teacher after learning to love education. She was a clerk to a principal and the supervisor of first-year work for the 13th District public schools in Washington, D.C..[1] Musette was also very involved with community service. She held leadership positions in the Music School Settlement in New York and was a member of the board of the Old Folks’ Home of Newark. [2] She was a member and ex-President of the Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society of Newark. [3] This was a literary society in honor of Phyllis Wheatley, the first African American and the first woman to publish a book and the first woman to make a living from her writing. She did all this while being a slave.[4] In addition, she was the founder of the Urban Literary Society of Trenton. [3]

Family Life/Childhood[edit]

Musette was born on October 10, 1876 to Eugene and Oceanna Everett Brooks. [5] She, her parents, and her four siblings lived in Washington D.C. and she attended public school all her life. While living in Washington D.C. her father, Mr. Eugine, worked as a clerk and court messenger[6]. On June 23, 1904, she married her husband, Eugene Monroe Gregory. Eugene was a Harvard University graduate and a member of the bar of New Jersey and New York bar association. While Musette was teaching her high school classes, Eugene was enrolled in Columbian University (now George Washington University), to study law. He practiced mainly in New Jersey in the cities, Trenton, Jersey City, and Newark. Originally Musette and Eugene lived in Trenton, but eventually moved to Newark in 1910. Musette and Eugene did not have any children. She died July 26, 1921[5] in New York. Because of her significant achievements with civil rights and suffrage, the Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, named a scholarship after her. [2] Forty-four years after her birth, she was featured in an article in The Crisis Newspaper Volume 23--No. 1 in a feature about the NAACP.[1]

New Jersey Women's Suffrage Group

Suffrage Work[edit]

Throughout her career, Musette was involved with multiple women’s organizations. She was a member of many New Jersey suffrage organizations, although some of the events that she attended were not documented. In addition to suffrage in New Jersey, she actively worked alongside in social service in New York.[1] In 1919, she attended a rally in New Jersey, where she was elected to the executive committee for the New Jersey Suffrage Ratification Committee. The goal of the NJSRC was to help elect men that supported the 19th amendment. They wanted them to be in office before and during the election to get more voters. The NJSRC worked in partnership with organizations such as the New Jersey Suffrage Association, the State Federation of Women’s Club, the State Federation of Colored Women’s Club, and the State Women’s Christian Temperance Movement.[2] In addition to her suffrage work, she also was the superintendent of the Working Girls’ Home in New York. [1]

Civil Rights Work[edit]

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Civil rights work was very important to Musette. She became the secretary and the chairman of the executive board for the New Jersey Foundation of Colored Women’s Clubs, the oldest African-American secular organization in existence today. This organization is committed to addressing the needs of black women, no matter what the political climate may be.[7] One of the main things she focused on was her work with the Colored Mission of the Diocesan Auxiliary of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine which was located in New York. She pursed being the superintendent. Under this missionary, she did work at the Home for the Working Girls at 132 West 131st Street, New York City, where she helped protect young working African-American girls. They helped keep them out of prostitution by preparing them for work with cooking, sewing, and housekeeping. They also provided the girls counseling.[8] Significantly, she was highly involved with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She was the Vice President of the NAACP Newark Branch.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bois, William Edward Burghardt Du (1921). Crisis. Crisis Publishing Company.
  2. ^ a b c d "Biographical Sketch of Musette Brooks Gregory | Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company". search.alexanderstreet.com. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
  3. ^ a b "The Crisis Newspaper Vol. 23 - No. 1" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Who was Phillis Wheatley?". www.phillis-wheatley.org. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  5. ^ a b "Musette Brooks Gregory". Find A Grave. 19 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Musette Brooks Gregory | Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company". search.alexanderstreet.com. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  7. ^ Boehm, Randolph (1995). RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLORED WOMEN’S CLUBS, 1895–1992. National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. ISBN 1-55655-504-0.
  8. ^ "White Rose Home for Colored Working Girls (White Rose Mission)". Lost Womyn's Space. 28 June 2011.