From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Copeland, Mayme Leonettza Brooks

(born: May 5, 1884  -  died: November 25, 1962) 

Mayme L. Brooks Copeland was the rural supervisor in the State Department of Education and her office was located in Frankfort, KY. She was one of two African American education administrators in the South whose salaries were partially paid by the Southern Education Foundation. During her career, Copeland was supervisor of Christian and Todd County Schools and head of the Rural Department of the American Teachers Association. She was recognized in Mabel Carney's article on rural education for her outstanding work in teacher training for one-teacher schools. She was the wife of Dr. Thomas H. Copeland, and was a member of Iota Phi Lambda. Dr. Thomas Copeland was presiding elder of the Hopkinsville District. Mayme Copeland was a 1933 graduate of Kentucky State College, and in 1937 earned her Master's degree in rural education from Columbia University. She was secretary of the Woman's Connectional Council of the Colored Methodist Church (CME). She retired from the Kentucky State Department of Education in 1947 after 44 years of service, and having been the longest serving African American employee.

Mayme L. Brooks Copeland died in Nashville, TN, and is buried in Cave Springs Cemetery in Hopkinsville, KY. She was born in Paducah, KY, the daughter of Milton and Mattye Evans Brooks. Source: Tennessee Death Certificate #62-32515 (Ancestry). 

For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; M. Carney, "Rural education in American Universities, 1944-45," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 15, issue 1 (Winter 1946), p. 98; W. G. Daniel, "Current trends and events of national importance in Negro education - Section A: General Activities," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 7, issue 2 (April 1938), p. 221; "Kentuckian gets high post," Capital Plaindealer, 09/11/1937, p.3; "Prominent Kentucky school teacher will retire July 1," Plaindealer, 06/20/1947, p. 3; and "Mrs. M. L. Copeland plans retirement," KNEA Journal, March-April 1947, vol. 18, no. 2, p. 7.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Outside Kentucky Place Name

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“Copeland, Mayme Leonettza Brooks,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-23 14:40:22