Cora Mae Brown


Cora Mae Brown became the first Black woman elected to the Michigan state senate on November 4, 1952. She served two terms from 1953-1956. Born in 1914, Cora Mae Brown moved from Alabama to Detroit when she was 8 years old and went on to attend Cass Technical High School. Upon graduation, Brown attended Fisk University before returning to Detroit to obtain her law degree from Wayne State University Law School. Brown was devoted to her community, civil rights, and women’s rights activism. She worked as a social worker for the Women’s Division of the Detroit Police Department and later served as a police officer. During this time, Cora Mae Brown also maintained a private law practice. While seated in the Michigan state senate, Cora Mae Brown fought for fair housing, equal employment, and anti-discrimination legislation. In 1957, Brown was appointed as Special Associate General Counsel to the U.S. Post Office, where she worked until her death in 1972.