Juadine Henderson

Video Interview

As remembered by Carla D. Brown
April 17, 2023

On behalf of my mother, Debra Brown, I regret to announce the passing of my Aunt Juadine Henderson. Aunt Dean transitioned yesterday, April 16th, just one day after her 76th birthday. I solicit your prayers for my mom and my Aunt Burnice in the loss of their sister, as well as our entire family during this difficult time.

Aunt Dean was a true treasure, a wealth of knowledge, and an humble servant to all she encountered. This world is a better place simply because of the love she showed everyone and her passion for true change and justice. I ask that you please extend grace to my mother at this time as she is receiving several calls. To know and love Aunt Dean was a true honor and a privilege and she will be sorely missed.


As remembered by Barbara Gleeton
April 17, 2023

To those who knew my Aunt Juadine Henderson. She transitioned on April 16th, day after her birthday. Fortunately many of us spoke with her and wished her a happy birthday. She was her usual happy laughing self. She had done her morning walk in the park and to us all was well. She just slipped away from us without warning.

This is a tough post to write. Aunt Dean graduated South Panola Training School 1965. That class was responsible for getting the school named changed to Patton Lane High School. In 1963 she had her interest stirred to work for Civil Rights. She joined the Civil Rights Movement immediately after graduation and spent the rest of her life fighting for human rights.

She went to Bishop College in Texas and worked as a reporter in Mt. Vernon, NY then to Oakland, CA as a reporter and retired from USA Today. May she live on through the many lives she touched.


As remembered by Geri Augusto
April 17, 2023

Been stunned all afternoon, just thinking of Juadine, Drum and Spear bookstore and how like a daughter to (Florence Tate) my mother she was. Mom was sooo proud of Juadine, the journalist (as she became).

One summer when I came over from Angola (I think — years run together now sometimes), Mom said "You will understand this better than me. Juadine has become an African priestess!

It was looking right into Juadine's warm eyes that I began my memorial farewell to Mom in the church in D.C. "Laroye," I began in greeting. And Juadine nodded permission and approval, so I could go on.

The interview that Emilye did washes Juadine over the eyes and ears just as she was: smiling, warm, very funny, down-to (Mississippi)-earth smart, and brave.


As remembered by Karen Spellman
April 17, 2023

Thank you Maria for sharing this video of Juadine. I listen to it spellbound for the past two hours, and still wish I could hear more. She led an exemplary life of a Mississippi freedom fighter, and did it with quiet humor, set in a roaring, passionate tale!

Juadine, you are a hell of a woman!


As remembered by Judy Richardson
April 17, 2023


I loved/loved your memory of Juadine in relation to your mother. It was so true! And... it was Florence who got us (Juadine, Joan Thornell, me and others) a job with real pay (after the itty bitty pay at Drum & Spear) at the National Urban Coalition when Carl Holman (AKA Kinshasha's dad) headed that organization.

I also clearly remember when you asked Juadine's "permission" to proceed in a certain way at Florence's memorial. She was a priestess in the Yoruba tradition beginning when she worked at the Oakland Tribune. She said the Yoruba tradition was closest to what she remembered her grandfather teaching her on his farm outside Batesville.

And, thanks (Maria) Varela (and Emilye!) for this video interview. I'll try to watch it tomorrow when I have more stamina.


As remembered by Jennifer Lawson
April 25, 2023

I met Juadine Henderson in Washington DC when we both were working with Charlie, Courtland and others to make Drum and Spear a success. Juadine and I had apartments in the same building facing Malcolm X Park in Northwest Washington. In addition to working to expand Drum and Spear Bookstore, we were also developing Drum and Spear Press, and two radio programs, including one known as Sa Ya Watoto (The Childrens Hour). Wed record these in Mimi Hayes apartment on Fuller Street and Judy Richardson was the key narrator with the rest of us providing sound effects of animals and secondary characters to animate the story for our listeners. Wed make mistakes and laugh about them, but wed keep going to get the story right. If Juadine laughed, it took a while to get serious again.

Juadine had a laugh that could enliven any room. Juadine also had a smile that could make us all want to hear her story, to be with her, but she was guarded and youd only learn more about her remarkable life, her work and interests if you paid close attention. But, how could we ask for more. She gave us that smile.


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