Born in 1880, Anderson Hunt Brown used his natural business genius to become one of the nation’s first Black property moguls—and he used his wealth to effect serious advances for civil rights.

For Anderson Hunt (A.H.) Brown, frustration was a powerful factor that inspired much of his success. 

The frustration and pain of losing three wives to childbirth in his segregated hometown of Charleston, West Virginia inspired him to fight for adequate medical care for Black citizens. That push led to the opening of the Community Hospital in 1924, the city’s first state-of-the-art hospital for Black residents. Brown’s frustration with a lack of affordable housing for Black families inspired him to build a real estate empire based on filling that need. His frustration with discrimination, meanwhile, fueled a lifelong fight to desegregate Charleston and create opportunities for Black residents to thrive.

Brown was hardly alone in…

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