My name is Wilkeata Brown. I have adopted someone from a list of participants who appeared in the 1983 Blacks in Museums Directory as the person I want to find and present at a Family Reunion being planned for September 2016 to celebrate our Black museum professionals. But today I want to address some of the barriers that I’ve been facing while trying to find the Museum Educator, M. Marie Brooks who appeared in that Directory. Yes, I am aware that directories of this kind rarely provide much information other than the person’s name address and occupation at the time the directory was published. In the Blacks in Museums Directory I found is her name, M. Marie Brooks and that she’s also a creative arts therapist. I do know that she was living in Tuskegee, Alabama and she was associated with Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in 1983. I couldn’t find any relatives that her name may be associated with like: her husband, parents, kids or grand kids. The Directory also listed her with Tuskegee Institute, and I did contact the college Ms. Brooks was associated with but I could not find anyone who may have known her or attended the University at the time. I have yet to be successful on that end either. Maybe looking up a phone number and address in the phone book for Tuskegee, Al during that time and check to see if Ms. Brooks is currently at her last known address, would provide some useful information. If Ms. Brooks has passed on, then there is a chance at least her descendants can be reached by this address. I think once we invite the participants to the reunion we can reach out to them for help, contacting the other members, perhaps those from the same communities that they may be in touch with. I’m not sure if they had yearbooks, but knowing the names of some of her colleagues could help us a lot, if I could contact them and find something substantial on her whereabouts.
I hope that once I find more information on Ms. Brooks, it will be in enough time to let her and her family know about the “Family Reunion” that is being planned. Because my peers and I would be honored to invite her to the Family Reunion. I’ve adopted her. She is my family now. These are small boundaries and I believe once I find something to go on, it’ll be like a chain reaction of information, leading me to the next thing, and the next, and so on. I just need to keep looking and find a way to connect the dots of Ms. Brook’s life and associations, to find our long lost relative.