On Jan. 31, Georgia Brooks celebrates her 100th birthday, and what a lot of living she has packed into a century.
At the age of 95, Georgia moved from South Carolina to Woodstock to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Michael King. She thrives on the attention she receives from her daughters, Diane and Karen, her sons-in-law, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her important roles of wife and mother, Georgia has been an educator, actress, painter and genealogist. She has been honored by organizations such as the Zora Neale Hurston Society, which was the first national society named in honor of a Black woman. This society described Brooks as “a visionary inseminator.”
She was born in 1923 to Samuel and Birdie McCain in Edgefield, South Carolina. She is the oldest of seven children, and her family relocated to Detroit, then to Brooklyn, then to Queens, New York, where they settled.
Georgia was educated in public schools, and she graduated from Jamaica High School in Queens. It was in high school that she met her future husband, Roosevelt Brooks. After graduating, they married and had Diane and Karen. Roosevelt was a motorman for the New York City Transit Authority before becoming a New York City policeman, a position from which he retired. Following his retirement, they moved to North Augusta, South Carolina. He and Georgia were married for 67 years at the time of his death.
Georgia earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Queens College after raising her daughters. Her involvement in the community included teaching preschoolers at Calvary Baptist Church in Queens for 26 years. She pursued her passion for the arts, mainly acting and painting. Now, she remains active and continues to paint.
Georgia appeared in many productions in Black theaters, and her paintings have been displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair, the North Augusta Municipal Building and, more recently, at the William G. Long Senior Center in Woodstock.
She also has a talent for genealogy, and was one of the founders of the MCain Family Reunion. She was able to trace her paternal family back to 1817.
– Margaret Miller has been a resident of Cherokee County for the past decade. Her writing hobby led her to become a columnist for community and daily newspapers.