Book and Garden Club.

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This Raines & Cox photograph of the Book and Garden Club appears to have been taken in the mid-to-late 1960s. The setting is the home of Dr. Frank N. and Suzie J. Sullivan on Faison Street. Though the photo itself falls outside the period of focus of Black Wide-Awake, it captures several women who came to prominence in Wilson’s African-American middle class in the first half of the 20th century.


First row standing:

Second row standing:

Many thanks to John Teel for sharing this image from the Raines & Cox collection of photographs at the North Carolina State Archives. It is catalogued as PhC_196_CW_PHB_7611_Book&GardenClub.


  1. It was truly a privilege to know several of these women. My Mother-In-Law loved being a member of The Book & Garden Club. Thank you for posting this memory of Wilson’s past.

    Best regards,

    Roslyn Sullivan (Married to Herman Sullivan)

  2. My mother used to come to Wilson every summer from New Jersey and I would send my time playing with the children on Faison Street. My mom, Monte Vick Cowan was good friends with Dorothy Ellis and Aunt Dot would come to 622 East Green Street and pick me up to play with her children Cynthia and James Charles Ellis. Frank, Herman and Alan Sullivan lived across the Street from the Ellis’s and there were other children that lived on that block as well.We would walk down to Doris Rosemond’s house that was close by. My mom was good friends with Doris too! I grew up playing with her children too! Julian, Dewey and Maria. I know my mom knew all those other women I heard her talk about Johnnie Boatwright and Flossie Barnes. I also remember Mrs. Sullivan she was a lovely woman. Those were great times. Thank you for sharing that picture.
    Vicki Cowan

    1. My father’s sister and family lived a few houses down from the Sullivans, so Faison Street was my second home in childhood. Allen and Maria are a year older than I, and the others you name were among the “big kids” to me. My parents are retired teachers, and before I started kindergarten, I’d spend days with Flossie Barnes when my regular daycare provider was not available.

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