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Millicent Brown, Ph.D.

“Somebody had to do it” – Millicent Brown, Ph.D. – Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Clafflin University

Millicent Brown

Dr. Brown is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor of History in the Department of History and Sociology at Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC)., and serves as Principal Investigator for the “Somebody Had to Do It” Project ( She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the College of Charleston, a Master’s of Education from The Citadel and a Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History from Florida State University, but credits a transformative year as a Ph.D. student at Howard University for cementing her academic attachment to issues of race, gender and class struggle. She has held either faculty or staff positions at North Carolina A&T State University, Guilford College, Bennett College and the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture.

Dr. Brown was one the first Black children to integrate SC schools and “Millicent Brown , et al v. School District 20” (Charleston, SC, 1963) was the landmark case for school desegregation in the state. Her personal experiences afford her the perspective of “activist-historian” for her “Somebody Had to Do It” research project.

A native of South Carolina, she is intent upon correcting many of the misconceptions surrounding school desegregation, providing a more thoughtful platform for analysis of the effects of the 1954 Brown decision, and involving present day students and faculty, especially at HBCU’s, in appreciating connections between the school desegregation process and the current crisis in Black education.

Dr. Brown credits having been born into an activist household during the height of the civil rights movement for her lifelong commitment to progressive social change, supplemented by her years of community service as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).


1Brown, Millicent (2012). Image and Biographical sketch (with minor editing by JAL)

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