Kline and Charlotte Price

Kline and Charlotte Price

Dr Kline Price Sr. (d.1973) and Charlotte Price (d.2013) started coming in the 1940s and are referenced in This African-American Life, a memoir written by their youngest son, civil rights leader Hugh B. Price, former President and CEO of the National Urban League. Price Sr. was the second black physician in the United States to earn certification from the American Board of Urology, which was a historic accomplishment back then. He maintained a full private practice, was an active surgeon and taught part-time at Howard Medical School. The couple provided financial support for the litigation brought by their neighbor, Charles Hamilton Houston of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which laid the legal foundation for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the US Supreme Court in 1954 that outlawed segregated public schools.

The Price family joined All Souls because of A. Powell Davies and lived close enough to walk to services on Sundays. According to Hugh, the church’s moral compass suited his parents perfectly and also touched his own life profoundly.

In an interview from The History Makers archives, Price remembered the church and his Sunday School experience this way: “I was very proud to be a part of that church. And a lot of people who cared passionately about integrating our society belonged to that church. Both black and whites belonged to that church. I vividly recall when I was a member of the Sunday School at All Souls Church, that roughly once a month we would go visit another church. We’d go visit a Greek Orthodox church, or a synagogue, or a Catholic church, or a Russian Orthodox church. And once a month, a delegation of kids from Sunday School would come visit us. And as a result of that, I grew up with a deep appreciation for sameness and a deep curiosity about otherness. And I grew up without any bias toward anybody who was different than me. And I wish that more of our children had that kind of exposure to others at a very early stage, before we formed impressions based on what adults tell us. It’s one of the most powerful inter-ethnic exchanges I could imagine, and all it cost us was a batch of cookies when we were hosting, and a quarter tank of gas when we were visiting. But it was very powerful, and I have never forgotten it.”

For information on Charlotte Price’s activist life and second career as an archivist well into her late 80s, see Hugh Price’s memoir or go to her memorial site. Charlotte was 101 at the time of her death. Washington Post CHARLOTTE S. PRICE biography.

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