SCF's Fredi Brown Named in African American National Biography

(Bradenton, Fla., April 16, 2010) — Fredi Brown, cofounder of the Family Heritage House Museum at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), has been named in the African American National Biography among notable people including President Barack Obama, actor Denzel Washington and blues performer Bessie Smith. The biography was edited by literary critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. and educator Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham.

A Bradenton native, Brown has left an indelible mark at SCF for her outreach to the African-American community. In 1974, she became SCF’s equal access/equal opportunity officer to enhance students’ opportunities by establishing scholarships for minority students, connecting local professionals with students to be mentored and creating community based study centers.

Brown also was instrumental in bringing black artists to the community and educating students about black history through posters, artifacts and other memorabilia displayed in her office.

In the early 1990s, Fredi and her late husband, Ernest L. Brown Jr. founded the Family Heritage House Museum at the former Bradenton Head Start. As the collection grew into a valued community resource, they moved the museum to an addition of the Sara Scott Harlee Library at the SCF Bradenton campus to further the college’s outreach to the African-American Community.

Brown continues to enrich the lives of students and community members through the Family Heritage House Museum, which features art exhibits and lectures highlighting influential African-Americans and their accomplishments.

She is the recipient of the 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee; Service to Youth and Community Education awarded by Links Inc.; and Passing the Torch Award from Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Brown has a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Florida A&M and a master’s degree in education from the University of South Florida.

The eight-volume “African American National Biography” is available at the Family Heritage House Museum for public review.

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