Constance Y. Brown
In 1972, Constance Young Brown was elected as the first female president of the Anne Arundel County, Maryland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Her name is etched in bronze along with the name of her predecessors and successors at the NAACP Freedom Grove Memorial located in the city of Annapolis. She was a resident of the Southgate community of Glen Burnie during her tenure. Her words after her election were designed to encourage and promote a continuation of active participation among the members when she declared “the president cannot stand alone, but rather needs the help of active committees to do the groundwork and carry on the work” [of the organization].
Constance was born of humble beginnings in St. Mary’s County, Maryland during the Great Depression years. She was the daughter of Stephen and Mary Yates Young. In 1940 her father was a laborer working on road construction. Constance was living with her parents and one cousin two years older than her. She received a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Maryland. She was active in the Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and became a founder and organizing member of the Glen Burnie, Omicron Gamma Omega Chapter.
A former educator and principal, she became president of the board of directors of the Community Action Agency. She was also president of the St. Mary’s chapter of Links, Inc. before later becoming a member of the board of directors of the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, and the Anne Arundel County Human Relations Commission.
In addition to holding the leadership role at the Anne Arundel County NAACP chapter, at the state level she was appointed director of branches in 1968 and director of administration in 1970. Her many positions within the NAACP during her lifetime showed her commitment to the African American community. At her inauguration meeting as president of the NAACP’s Anne Arundel County chapter meeting, she said “The NAACP is a crisis organization. We must be alert to the demands of the community.”
Mrs. Johnson died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1997. She is buried in Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County, where her life began.