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Pauline Brown Black was born on October 19, 1942 at Harlem Hospital in New York City to the late Paul Leroy Brown, Sr. and Ruby Claudine Pace Brown. She was one of five siblings - three sisters and one brother. Her brother Paul Brown Jr is deceased; her surviving sisters Julia Smith, Joyce Longmire, and Dianne Demby grieve for her now.
Her career in social work started with a Bachelor of Arts Degree at New York City College; she received a Master's in Social Work at Columbia University. From a young age her mother stressed the importance of staying out of trouble, working hard in school and keeping faith in our Lord and Savior.
It was in the field of social work that she met and married fellow social worker Cleveland Mac Black; their union created her only child, Paula Sojourner Black. She always explained to her daughter how she got her name. “Paula” she stated meant “Little One” and Sojourner was after Sojourner Truth, the famous African American evangelist, abolitionist and women’s rights activist.
Pauline was always proud of her heritage, being a mother and a grandmother. She was also proud of her profession and was a faithful servant of her Lord. She never wavered in either role.
Her career led her to assist and help a wide range of individuals from the very young to the very old. Her high-quality social work standards started in NYC as a Caseworker at the Community Service Society. After moving to Massachusetts with her daughter she worked for Family Service Association of Greater Boston, Cambridge Children Services, and the METCO program. METCO in Boston. Massachusetts is the largest voluntary school desegregation program in the country. The mission is to give students from Boston's under-performing schools the opportunity to attend a high-performing school in the suburbs. It is similar to the first Black students integrating white schools in the south during the Civil Rights era. It was the METCO program that I believe Pauline truly enjoyed and felt the most pride as she assisted the children, and their families navigate the obstacles of attending this uncharted territory.
After her move to Ohio she worked for Akron Children’s Services, Family Services and ended her long career assisting individuals with substance abuse and addiction at Akron UMADAOP.
Outside of her career she taught Sunday school and was a Girl Scout Leader. She was multi-talented by teaching herself to do needlepoint, crochet, knit, to wallpaper, corn roll hair and calligraphy. She displayed her calligraphy skill every graduation year at METCO when she wrote certificates for each graduating student in all seven schools.
Being a mother to her only daughter is what brought her the most joy. That later included her grandchildren who could do no wrong - no matter what they did. Her love was fearless and everlasting.
Pauline departed this world for her final journey on March 5, 2023, surrounded by family in the home she loved. Pauline was a first generational homeowner who had come a long way from the NYC housing projects where she grew up.
She is survived by her daughter, Paula Sojourner Black-Hammond, her grandsons, Malcolm Kai Marcellus Black, Marcus Jae-Won Nathaniel Black, grand-daughter Faith Hammond and her son-in-law Manfred Hammond. (Sisters) Julia Smith, Joyce Longmire, Dianne Demby, (Brother) Paul Brown, Jr. (deceased) (Nieces) Jennifer Longmire Wright, Buffy Longmire Avital, Laurel-Renee Taylor, Nicole Tucker, (Nephew) Paul David Smith and a host of cousins, family and friends.
Although her name will never be in the history books, her kindness, humor, strength, and unbinding love has not only touched family and friends but countless individuals she counseled and supported to help achieve optimal mental health and peace.
Although grief is evident and is felt by family and friends - we all draw comfort in knowing that she - who loved to dance - is dancing with the angles in Heaven along with past family and friends. She is not in pain. She is only feeling love as she watches over us.