This year’s TCU Homecoming festivities will include a specific tribute to beloved Fort
Worth educator and group leader Jennifer Giddings Brooks ’71 (MS ’74) — TCU’s
to start with Black Homecoming Queen.
On Friday, Oct. 22, a portrait of Brooks will be unveiled at the Dee J. Kelly Alumni
& Website visitors Center. During the Homecoming game on Saturday, she will be regarded
as the initially Black Homecoming Queen and escorted onto the discipline with TCU’s 1995 and
1996 Coming Residence Kings and Queens.
“I’m honored. It definitely is just a great feeling,” Brooks mentioned. “I’m quite rarely speechless,
but when they referred to as me, I really was speechless.”
When she was named Homecoming Queen in 1970, Brooks also felt honored and that the
election symbolized acceptance by the TCU pupil neighborhood.
“One of the factors that occasionally will get missing is, with almost everything that was happening
in the planet in the course of that time, for TCU to be that faculty in the Southwest Meeting
to have the 1st Black Homecoming Queen, I assume, furnished some feeling that TCU learners
are impartial,” she stated. “They have their have thoughts and inner thoughts of who they
want to symbolize them.”
The set up of the portrait fulfills 1 of the central ambitions of the Race & Reconciliation
Initiative, which is to notify a a lot more complete TCU story.
“It is rather uncanny that we obtain ourselves at the 50 percent-century mark considering that Jennifer
Giddings was elected the to start with Black Homecoming Queen,” stated Frederick W. Gooding
Jr., RRI chair and the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Honors Professor of Humanities. “Yet, Dr.
Brooks’ trailblazing accomplishment did not arrive without the need of own price tag or sacrifice.
She kept her head held higher amidst an natural environment that was not always as sleek
as she was with regard to respecting her identity. Nonetheless, we continue being appreciative
and wish to admit this crucial portion of our previous ’tis by no means too late to reconcile.”
The idea for the portrait came through RRI’s oral historical past task currently underway.
Brooks is 1 of far more than 20 Horned Frogs staying interviewed by postdoctoral fellow
Sylviane N. Greensword.
“One thing that we never see substantially at TCU is illustration of some of the Black faculty
and alums who have had some of those breakthroughs,” Greensword explained. “So we believed
what can we do to make Black achievements noticeable to the TCU community without getting
basic tokenism? With Dr. Brooks’ tale, it wasn’t difficult to solitary her out as one particular of
the excellent achievers since of her achievements through and soon after her enrollment
Brooks’ career stretches from elementary university to bigger schooling, which includes roles
as principal of a superior-accomplishing internal-town faculty, the inaugural director of TCU’s
Center for City Training and school member and founder/CEO of Brooks Academic
Her comprehensive local community involvement includes serving on the boards of Carrying out Arts
Fort Worth, United Negro Higher education Fund and Pay a visit to Fort Value, the advisory boards of
the Fort Well worth Museum of Science and Record and the Amon Carter Museum and the TCU
and UNTHSC College of Medicine’s Diversity Standing Committee. She has been honored
as an Outstanding Girl of Fort Value, an Remarkable Texan and with Bank of America’s
Local Hero Award.
For the duration of the pandemic, Brooks employed the excess downtime to spearhead endeavours — by using cell phone
phone calls and Zoom meetings — to install two new historic markers on Fort Worth’s Heritage
Trails. Markers honoring the Black Business enterprise District and the Black Healthcare District
ended up unveiled Oct. 1.
She and her husband, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, have two grownup
youngsters — Royce and Marion — who are both attorneys.
For Brooks, one of the items she’s celebrating about getting “the first” in her homecoming
honor at TCU is the doors it has opened for her to meet up with men and women, create friendships,
speak to teams this kind of as incoming students and moms and dads and serve as a mentor to a lot of.
“My entire target is: Ok now we have gotten to this position,” she claimed. “What can we do
to make everyday living far better for that upcoming technology? How can I assistance them?”
Browse much more from Jennifer Giddings Brooks, in TCU Journal.