Marian Hamilton Spotts

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Marian Hamilton Spotts
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Born(1896 -09-10)September 10, 1896
South Carolina
Alma mater
  • Wilberforce University
  • University of Chicago
  • Teacher
  • Civic Leader

Marian Hamilton Spotts was a teacher and civic leader in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Personal life

Marian Hamilton Spotts was born on September 10, 1896 in St. Mary’s, Ohio, to Charles Robert Hamilton and Ellen Bowles. Spotts’ father, a barber, was originally from Bluffton, South Carolina, where he was born into slavery until he was released by the Union Army in 1861 when he was eleven years old.[1] She had seven other siblings.[2] Marian, also known as Lena/Lenora Marian, married Hardin Allen Spotts, another Wilberforce University graduate. In 1928, their son, Roger Hamilton Spotts, was born. Roger served in the Korean War and was placed in Okinawa, Japan, and later moved to Los Angeles and became a professional saxophone player. He had a daughter, Woni Spotts, with his wife Betty Mosley. Woni went on to become the first Black woman to travel to every country in the world.[3]

Education and Career

Spotts attended Wilberforce University and graduated in 1916. Afterwards, she studied at Chicago University and Michigan State College. In Federalsburg, Maryland, Hamilton worked as an elementary school teacher before she moved on to supervising teachers in Caroline County, Maryland. Eventually, she moved back to Ohio to work at her alma mater, Wilberforce University, as a Critic Teacher and History Instructor.[4]

Published works

As an active member of the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, Spotts realized that few records existed for Black, women-led community organizing groups in Cincinnati. After conducting extensive research and interviewing multiple women, Spotts compiled the histories of fifty-seven different Black women who led mutual aid, civic, and social organizations and wrote a book, The History of the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, 1904-1952.[5]


On March 9, 1952, Spotts was honored by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority as “Woman of the Year” in recognition of her lifelong commitment to community involvement and service.[5]


Marian Hamilton Spotts passed away on March 4, 1980.[4]


  1. "September 2021 Task Force Meeting Minutes" (PDF).
  2. "Charles Robert Hamilton Lima News October 10, 1933". The Lima News. 1933-10-06. p. 2. Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  3. Spotts, K. (2023-04-19). "Black American History and Culture: Untold, Reframed, Stigmatized and Fetishized to the Point of Global Ethnocide". European Journal of Philosophy, Culture and Religion. 7 (1): 1–41. doi:10.47672/ejpcr.1423. ISSN 2520-4696.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Collection: Marian Hamilton Spotts papers | Amistad Research Center". Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  5. 5.0 5.1 ""They lift as they climb": Marian Hamilton Spotts and the legacy of Black Women's Activism". amistadresearchctr. 2021-11-24. Retrieved 2023-08-18.

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