In Memory of Dr. Gwendolyn Middlebrooks

Spelman University Salutes Dr. Middlebrooks

AJC Obituary for Dr. Middlebrooks

We would appreciate if if you would share your memories of Dr. Middlebrook here.


Comments from GATE members commemorating Dr. Middlebrooks:


"Dr. Middlebrooks was such an accomplished and inspiring woman. We had many conversations about life and her experiences which helped me in my own life. I loved her brilliance, her beauty, and her bold take on life. I am very fortunate to have met her!" - Andrea Crenshaw


"I met Gwen in 2008 when I joined the GATE Executive Committee. She made me laugh a lot over the years! Cheryl Allen and I attended her Celebration of Life on 2-13-24 (Cheryl also served on the GATE Executive Committee). There was a beautiful obituary included in the ceremony program and I am sharing some of it to honor Gwen. Gwen was actively engaged in the “Atlanta School Movement,” joining the inaugural sit-ins at Atlanta’s dining establishments and facing arrest at the Georgia State Capitol. She also worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King as the babysitter of their young children. As an undergraduate at Spelman, she began dating James, with whom she had also attended high school. They were married by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on 1-8-1961 (they were married for 63 years). It is no surprise she became an educator. After a five-year tenure as a high school teacher with the Atlanta Public Schools, she returned to Spelman College to launch what would become a 42-year career of distinguished service. Regal and respected, she could connect with anyone whether she was chair of the Education Department, a Sunday School teacher for over 50 years, or an adviser to the Eta Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She received several honors over the years including designation as Professor Emerita. She was a seven-decade member of Ebenezer Baptist Church and a life member of NAACP. When we think of her, let’s remember the skill with which she taught anything from Bridge and tennis to animal husbandry and gymnastics. She was especially passionate about teaching adult Black women how to swim, and she taught them in pools at Spelman and her home. She participated in the Peachtree Road Race until she was 82. She was mother of Dr. Jayne Thenise Morgan, Dr. Valerie Leah Johnson, and Mr. Kevin James Middlebrooks and a grandmother of 8 grandchildren. In my own words now- Gwen loved serving GATE and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE). I loved serving with her. Someone at the Celebration of Life described Gwen as sweet and stern! Yes, she could be gentle and fierce at the same time. GATE was a great beneficiary of Gwen’s devotion and vision. She will be greatly missed." - Barbara Benson


"Gwen was a people connector. She introduced me to GATE as an organization and connected me with the members of GATE’s Executive Committee. She was always willing to serve GATE and promoted the activities of the organization admirably. She was a doer who did not take “No” for the answer. Her passion, energy, and commitment to service will always inspire me. Rest in peace Dr. Middlebrooks." - Ewa McGrail