|Birth: ||Oct. 6, 1900|
|Death: ||Jun. 18, 1991|
Vivion Mercer (Lenon) Brewer
helped establish the
'Women's Emergency Committee
to Open Our Schools.'
This was an action taken during the desegregation of Little Rock, Ark.'s Central High School in 1958.
She helped arrange the WEC's initial meeting and served as
the organization's first Chairperson.
Vivion Lenon was DAUGHTER to
FATHER - Warren E. Lenon
MOTHER - Clara (Mercer) Lenon
*She graduated from Little Rock High School
(now Central High) in 1917.
*She attended Smith College in Mass.,
where she majored in sociology /1921.
*In 1926, she enrolled in
the Arkansas Law School in Little Rock /1928.
Brewer worked in her father's L.R. bank,
'The People's Savings Bank.'
eventually serving as a Vice-President of the bank.
Vivion was WIFE to
HUSBAND - Joseph Brewer
(nephew of US Sen. Joe T. Robinson)
They were wed in October 1930.
Moving to Washington DC,
she eventually became a secretary to Senator Robinson.
In 1946 the couple moved to Scott, Arkansas.
In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard to keep African-American students from enrolling at LR's Central High School.
In the fall of 1958, the capital city's citizens voted to close the community's high schools opposing desegregation.
In Sept. 1958, Vivion Brewer joined with Adolphine Fletcher Terry to organize the WEC. She wanted to work with the area's African-American women to help race relations. The WEC members focused solely on the re-opening of schools.
As a WEC member, Brewer worked with the media. She soon became the target of segregationists, often receiving threatening and offensive telephone calls and mail.
(In Brewer's memoir, she wrote of her reluctance at serving as the WEC's Chairperson. This was because she did not actually reside in Little Rock - but in the nearby community of Scott, Ark.)
In 1959 the public schools re-opened; with her mission accomplished, in 1960 Vivion Brewer resigned her job in the WEC organization.
In 1961, Brewer was presented an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Smith College.
It was noted the action was in recognition of Brewer's toil
during the Little Rock, Arkansas school crisis.
She died in
Sierra Madre, California,
where she dwelled in her final years.
This biography is
humbly presented by
Audrey Burtrum-Stanley / Arkansas
Roselawn Memorial Park
Maintained by: NJBrewer
Originally Created by: Someone Who Cares...
Record added: Dec 10, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45288297
Stood your ground. You go girl!|
Added: Nov. 6, 2012