Photo credit: Kirby Mack
As we celebrate Women’s History Month Empower Magazine salutes Tammie Lang Campbell, founder of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation, for 20-plus years of service in the community.
She is known by many as a champion of education, civil rights leader and activist, author, speaker and advocate for racial harmony in the community.
A native of rural Mississippi, Campbell launched the Honey Brown Hope Foundation with a simple quest, to convey positive self-worth and cultural esteem in her daughter and son.
Campbell’s children, depicted in the Foundation’s logo, would fuel the growth of the organization as she worked tirelessly not to only raise the self esteem of her own children, but to help nurture the next generation of young leaders and engage them in active citizenship by providing programs and literature designed to develop their future potential. The organization offers voter empowerment, multicultural literature, drama, writing, character building, environmental awareness and diversity appreciation programs.
A little over two decades later, the Foundation, guided by Campbell’s efforts, has been pivotal in effecting positive changes on a local and national scale.
An Inside Look at the Foundation’s Beginnings
After reading, “Snow White” to her then four-year-old daughter, Campbell decided to convey a positive, self-worth message to her daughter and other young girls to help them recognize their inner beauty, healthy image/worth, God-given talent and independence. She did so by founding the Honey Brown Hope Foundation and writing the Honey Brown series.
The Honey Brown series includes: Honey Brown In Search of Her Identity, a young African American girl’s ambitious dream to become the first female president; Honey Brown Salutes Her Roots, a young girl’s adventurous trip back in time to meet her Ancient Egyptian ancestors; Honey & Sir, Just Wanna Hoop (New Edition), a college student breaking the gender barrier to play on a co-ed Olympic basketball team with her cousin, Sir Brown; Guess Who’s Going to the White House (New Edition), a college student’s plea to the U.S. President to include Black History in the American History Book. This series is being revised into a collection of short stories called, Is Honey Brown Cleared for the White House? and will soon be released with the above two new stories.
“Honey Brown is whoever you want her to be, anyone you can relate to,” Campbell said. “Honey Brown uses the message of Hope to encourage readers that regardless of their background they can achieve great things.”
Campbell also wrote “The Spirit Within” to encourage readers to access the source and inspiration of a healthy image, God.
Shar-day Campbell calls her mother her “greatest inspiration.”
“My mom is the greatest example of a Proverbs 31 woman that I could’ve ever petitioned God for,” said Campbell’s daughter, who now serves as the Foundation’s marketing communications specialist. “Never has her commitment to the community overridden her first obligation – the affairs of her household. My brother and I have no choice, but to ‘arise and call her blessed’!”
Asked her thoughts on the legacy and impact she has had through the years, Campbell said,
“I know God called me to cultivate and keep Hope alive in our youth,” said Tammie. “Hope is what the Foundation offers and Hope is what we nurture in young people through our programs.”
We extend a Women’s History Month Salute to Campbell as we share a timeline highlighting some of her service leadership.
In partnership with the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department, created the “We Love America Healthy, Clean and Green” annual eco-friendly/diversity calendar series to encourage people of all ages and races to do their part to keep earth and themselves healthy
Received Key to the City in Jasper, TX after addressing the War on Poverty and Racism at the annual Jasper Pillars of the Community Black History event
Captured President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring and engaging tradition of charitable service, by hosting a tribute with over 100 high-school students on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
Foundation partnered with Missouri City Mayor to donate revised Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn without the n-word to Fort Bend Library System.
To redefine the n-word and promote racial healing, released a video (click to view) titled, “The Real Meaning of N-I-G-G-E-R during a Black History event, “N-word Past vs. N-word Present” that was covered by the local NBC affiliate; the entire event is posted on the outlet’s website.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s appreciation letter for the “We Love America Healthy, Clean and Green” calendar that highlighted her green garden initiative in the month of February.
Contributed to “Can We Ever Bury the N-word” editorial
Honored by the state of Hawaii for Anti-N-Word Initiative
Committed to buy 1st 100 Huckleberry Finn books without the n-word
Wrote ‘‘N-word remains far too pervasive” editorial
Organized and held a prayer vigil in support of U.S. President’s Back To School Message
Wrote, produced and directed an educational voter empowerment teleplay called, Sir Brown’s Ruff Ryde-to-Vote
Hosted and sponsored the nationally acclaimed, “Prince Among Slaves” Houston PBS documentary
Coordinated n-word burial following petition against Webster’s definition of “Nigger” in 1991 that resulted in the 1993 revision
Served on Harvard University’s Civil Rights Project School-to-Prison Pipeline Roundtable Discussion and wrote an editorial called, “The School to Prison Pipeline has to be Disconnected”
Coordinated and presented former Mayor Lee P. Brown’s Diversity Celebration; as part of its 365-day Diversity Program, commission a mural in honor of former Mayor Brown called, “Houston In Harmony Celebrating Diversity,” which is on exhibit at the Lee P. Brown Metro Administration Building
Collaborated with Smithsonian Institute and K-Mart to bring traveling mobile museum exhibit, “Wade in the Water: African-American Sacred Music Traditions” to Texas for the NAACP Back to School/Stay-in-School Initiative
Developed and presented “Operation History: Connecting Ancient Egyptians with their descendants, African Americans,” in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts’ Splendors of Ancient Egypt Exhibit
Addressed a racially charged classroom assignment called, “Blond, Beautiful and Intelligent” which resulted in an apology from the teacher and school district, the worksheet being discontinued and a district wide diversity committee being implemented.
Her over two decades of work has not gone unnoticed.
Campbell’s community service was nationally recognized in the 2005 June/July issue of Sophisticate’s Black Hair Magazine as the “Role Model Beyond Beauty” and again in 2006 as one of the most outstanding role models of 2005.
Some noted celebrities featured in the issue include: Gabrielle Union, Beyonce, Oprah, Halle Berry, Patti Labelle, and Fantasia Barrino, to name a few. Campbell’s work has been highlighted by a host of media outlets, including: CNN, World News ABC, Washington Times, Manhattan Media City Hall, Canada Raw News and Crisis Magazine.
She is the recipient of the: Aetna Insurance/ Magic Johnson, Jefferson, Top 25 Women of Houston/ Comerica Bank, The Houston Sun’s Women of Power and Purpose, YMCA Minority Achievers, North Houston Frontiers’ Drum Major, Anti-Defamation League, and Kraft Foods Community Service/National NAACP-Image awards.
Additional honors include being elected as the first female president of the NAACP-Missouri City & Vicinity Branch and appointed as the Education Chair of Texas State NAACP Conference. She has received numerous awards/honors for community service including being recognized by the following state representatives: Hawaii State Rep. John Mizuno as the Nation’s Top Advocate for Fighting to Ban the N-Word, Texas State Rep. Dr. Alma Allen under House Resolution 587 and former Texas State Rep. Dora Olivo as a “State of Texas Civil Rights Advocate” under House Resolution 1705.
Campbell is a 1981 graduate of Alcorn State University. She resides in Missouri City, Texas and considers her adult children, Shar-day and Dennis Jr., her greatest blessings.