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Book club speaker is longtime civil-rights activist

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The news release on Annie McDaniel Abrams, of Little Rock, Ark., runs three pages long, listing the activities, achievements and awards accomplished in her 82 years.

"To sum it all up," the news release concludes, "Annie McDaniel Abrams is an ordinary lady who has left an extraordinary legacy."

Born during the Depression, she attended segregated schools. She won an academic scholarship to Brandeis University, but had to forfeit it because she couldn't afford the trip there. She obtained an associate degree from Dunbar Junior College.

After marrying and having four children, she resumed her college studies on a part-time basis and earned a degree in special education from Philander Smith College.

She cites receiving an honorary doctorate from her alma mater as one of her two proudest moments. The other was receiving the national Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the late Coretta Scott King for her efforts to get the Martin Luther King Jr. observance in Arkansas.

Abrams had her own public affairs television program on a public access channel in the early days of cable television.

She has been active in the Democratic Party for 64 years and worked at the grass-roots level on issues such as prison reform, education reform, women's rights, fair housing and homelessness.

In 1978, she was selected to represent the national board of the YWCA of the U.S.A. at the World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Abrams will speak during a public program and reception held by the Book Lovers Club of Charleston at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Woman's Club of Charleston, 1600 Virginia St. E.

The program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Call 304-755-1015 or email mabryp@aol.com to reserve a seat.


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