Ione Brown, the mother of Doris Christopher, was born in Alexandria, Minnesota. As a member of the only black family in Alexandria she felt the pangs of prejudice all of her early life. She met and married a black traveling baseball player, Jinx Edward Brown, in her early twenties. They moved to St. Paul and started a family. Ione was ecstatic to find a community of her own people where she did not feel like an outcast. She found her calling in working within the community. Her husband found work with the federal government, one of the first blacks hired in the state as a railway mail clerk, and they moved to Minneapolis. Together they successfully raised four children. Ione engaged in many community programs and founded the U-Need-Us seniors' program. Before her death in 1983, Mayor Don Frazier of Minneapolis honored her with "A Day Honoring Ione M. Brown." The luncheon was held at the Holiday Inn Central with over two hundred people present to celebrate Mrs. Brown's sixty-years of dedicated service to her community.
~James R. Brown, Minneapolis, MN
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