Black History Month: Mildred Roxborough, an NAACP Treasure

During Black History Month, the NAACP will be honoring African American leaders and pioneers from the past—as well as “unsung heroes.”  Today we recognize an NAACP treasure and “unsung hero”—Mrs. Mildred Roxborough, the longest standing member and a former field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She is a wealth of organizational knowledge because of her life’s work with the NAACP and she is an invaluable historian for the NAACP in her willingness to share stories of the past. 

Mrs. Roxborough has been a member since she was nine years old and remembers when her parents fought to secure the right to vote in Brownsville, Tennessee. In her town, many African Americans who attempted to vote were denied the credit they needed to feed their families and fired from their jobs—including Mrs. Roxborough’s mother, who lost her job as a school teacher. Her father was arrested for his work on behalf of the NAACP and after several threats to his life, he moved his family to Kansas City.

Her family’s early activism influenced her greatly. At New York University, Mildred Roxborough worked alongside Medgar Evers and traveled to Mississippi to help farmers who faced economic repercussions when they attempted to vote—these repercussions included being denied credit for their families. In 1955, Mrs. Roxborough organized parents in Mississippi to sign a petition to integrate the schools. One parent could neither read nor write but wanted better educational opportunities for their children. Mrs. Roxborough recalls helping the parent write their name to be included in the petition.

Currently, Mrs. Roxborough works for the New York NAACP providing support for the special contribution fund in the development department.  We salute Mildred Roxborough and all the members of the NAACP who have made and continue to make history.

NAACP celebrates Black History Month with our annual Unsung Heroes campaign —tell us about someone in your family that led the charge for human and civil rights in your community. Every Wednesday in February is WIN Wednesday, where we feature a woman in the NAACP. Additionally, we’ll be featuring a prominent figure from history and their words on our social media networks—including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Lastly, please text HISTORY to 62227 to join our NAACP mobile list and receive Black History Month facts, quotes and trivia once a day, during the month of February.