July 10, 2006
100TH BIRTHDAY OF MARION SIDONIA BRYANT
Marion Sidonia Pendleton was born on September 17, 1906 in Louisa County, Virginia. She attended church schools in Louisa and Orange Counties. She went to the Academy (high school) at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia, as a work-study student and graduated in 1926. She graduated, with a degree in Science, from Hampton Institute in 1931. She met her future husband, Henry E. Bryant, from Richland, Georgia, while at Hampton and they were married on May 28, 1933 in Georgia. They lived in Soperton, Georgia for a few years while Mr. Bryant was agriculture teacher and principal of the local high school for Negro students. He then worked for the National Youth Administration, one of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. Later, they moved to Ft. Valley, Georgia, where he became agriculture teacher and principal of Negro schools in Ft. Valley, Georgia. Mrs. Bryant worked as a “Jeans Supervisor” in Houston County, Georgia. “Jeans Supervisors” were usually black women who supervised education in rural schools in the south. They would go around to the rural schools and oversee the teachers who often had very little education themselves. They’d review or prepare lesson plans, as needed, provide guidance to the teachers and sometimes teach. During World War II she began teaching science at the H.A. Hunt High School in Ft. Valley because the male science teachers had gone off to war. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant had three daughters, Barbara Marie, Doris, Deloris and Sylvia Ann. Barbara died in 1937. In December of 1997, Mrs. Bryant returned to Virginia to live with her daughter, Doris Mabrey, after suffering a stroke. She continues to live in Vienna, Virginia, where she will celebrate her 100th birthday with family on September 17, 2006.
Therefore, Mr. Chairman, it is with great honor that I move that September 17, 2006, be proclaimed as Marion Sidonia Bryant Day in Fairfax County and that the Board invite Marion Sidonia Bryant and her family to come before the Board and receive this honor at their meeting on September 11, 2006.