Blair, Corene Lee Williams, 1923-

Biography:

"Corene Lee Williams Blair, wife of Ezell A. Blair Sr., was born February 8, 1923, on a farm in rural Chatham County, North Carolina. She graduated from Chatham County Training School, a high school for African Americans, and moved to Greensboro to find work. Blair worked as a nanny for several white families and also at the Southern Bakery on Lee Street. She eventually enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University and took night classes. Financial assistance later allowed Blair to discontinue work at her other jobs and attend school full time. She graduated from A&T in 1956 with her bachelor's of science degree in education. While at A&T, she met Ezell Blair Sr. and the two were married. Following graduation, Corene Blair was employed as a teacher at Jonesboro Elementary School, which served African American children in Greensboro. After integration, she was transferred to Caesar Cone Elementary, where she became the second African American to teach the formerly all-white school. In 1964, Blair earned her master's in education from A&T. She retired from teaching in the mid-1980s, after 30 years with the Greensboro Public School system. In retirement, she served for 14 years as a volunteer in assisting the elderly and was an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church. Two of Ezell and Corene Blair's children were involved in the civil rights movement in Greensboro. Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell A. Blair Jr.) was one of the four N.C. A&T freshmen who participated in the Woolworth's sit-in on February 1, 1960. Their daughter Gloria Jean, a Bennett College student, was also an active participant in demonstrations." --From Greensboro VOICES Biography, "Blair, Corene Lee Williams" accessed 8 October 2008, http://library.uncg.edu/depts/archives/civrights/detail-bio.asp?bio=4

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