By Clint Confehr
COLUMBIA, TN — A community servant, telecommuter and work-at-home mother is one of three newly-elected leaders of the NAACP Branch in Maury County.
Jamila Bumpas Brown, a life long resident of Columbia, joined the NAACP a couple of years ago “when they were re-building the branch,” she said. “They needed more members.”
Now, Brown is the third vice president of the branch led by Paco Havard. He advocates development of new leaders. Havard was re-elected branch president. The other new officers are: Terry Hannah, second vice present; and Assistant Treasurer Lucy Gallimore. Dr. Kimberly Osborne, secretary, continues as do Assistant Secretary Jennifer Stovall and First Vice President Larry Patton.
“I would like to see our membership increase and see more of the younger generation get involved, become members and be more active,” she said. “Columbia is not a bad place, but anywhere can use improvement.” New and younger members can help the
branch see what needs to be done, she said.
Brown’s daughter, Kreandra, 22, goes with her mother when she’s volunteering. “I help a lot and tell her, ‘I have something to do,’ so she comes with me. She does like to be active.”
The 42-year-old activist and her husband, Kevin Brown, have a son, Xander, 7. Kreandra is studying accounting at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. The children and their mother are members of Grace United Missionary Baptist Church. Kevin Brown is a member of Newtown Church of Christ.
Last summer, with the East Hill Reunion Committee, voter registration drives were conducted, as well as a program to talk with candidates running for local office. Reunion committee members grew up in Columbia’s College Hill area. Their event with candidates included donated provisions and meals for area residents.
In conjunction with that, Brown worked on a video posted on-line to advocate voting and registration. Local leaders on the video project included Vice Mayor Christa Martin and Garland Brown, a schools administrator, educator and specialist in law enforcement and civil rights issues.
Brown helps plan Juneteenth celebrations. They’ve grown each year. Another is anticipated in Riverside Park. Black history is reported at the celebrations with street fair vendors and family-friendly activities.
“We should be getting together pretty soon to start planning for next year,” Brown said.
She’s also a volunteer in a county-wide coalition “targeting younger people who are getting off-track.” They want to prevent and stop underage drinking, illegal drugs and other detrimental behavior.
“We’re focusing on binge drinking,” Brown said. “I didn’t know that kids started drinking as young as 12.”
Brown’s mother is a nurse who retired from Maury Regional Medical Center. Her father worked for a school bus manufacturer.
The Browns live in the Macedonia neighborhood near McDowell Elementary School. Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder’s children go to the school. He did, too, and opposed the county school board’s decision to close it. Now, one of the oldest schools in the city might appear headed to a government surplus property auction. Molder advocates development of a civil rights museum. The 1946 Columbia Race Riot is cited by the Tennessee Historical Commission as a key reason President Harry Truman established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. The McDowell school is a mile west of the Public Square where East 7th Street is also named Rosa Parks Memorial Road. It’s where the NAACP starts its annual march to mark the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
Brown invites people to join the branch.