Hallie Quinn Brown (c.1850) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to former slaves. She and her family moved to Wilberforce, Ohio in 1870, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University in 1873. Brown taught school in the South until her appointment as professor of elocution at Wilberforce University in 1893. A gifted elocutionist and author, Brown received national and international acclaim not only for her recitals and written works, but also for her passionate belief in civil rights and African American culture.
A founder of the National Association of Colored Women, Hallie Quinn Brown served as president of the NACW from 1920 to 1924. In a well-publicized address in May of 1925 before the International Council of Women's in Washington, D.C., Brown delivered a powerful, scathing speech against discrimination. She is the author of several books, including Bits and Odds: A Choice Selection of Recitations. As a result of her accomplishments and long affiliation with the Combined Normal and Industrial Department, President Charles H. Wesley named the first library at Central State University in her honor.