Amanda H. Barrett, dedicated and enthusiastic, former 4th Grade Teacher, was a resident of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She passed away on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at Transitions Lifecare in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was 99 years old.
Amanda was born in Magnolia, Alabama in Marengo County on December 26, 1921. She was one of 10 children born to Will Hope and Inez Anderson Hope. After her Mother’s untimely passing, she became a loving sister to her 5 younger brothers, when her father remarried. Her family sent to High School in Thomaston, Georgia, to prepare her for College entry. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Normal School of Agriculture & Education in 1946, a now closed HBCU in St. Augustine, Florida. There she was voted “Miss Florida Normal”, homecoming Queen 1946. After graduation, she married her first husband, Tuskegee Airman, Joshua Lankford in 1947 at the Tuskegee Air Base Chapel. The couple moved to Harlem New York and she taught Nursery School in the Bronx. Amanda was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in Education, from New York University (NYU) on February 25, 1957.
In 1959, she moved to Cleveland, Ohio for Teaching position with the Cleveland Public Schools System. While living at the Phyllis Wheatly House, she boarded a bus and the handsome bus driver urged her to sit in the front seat, facing him. After dating, in 1960, she married Isaac James Barrett Sr.(deceased). Isaac became a Postman in the Harvard-Lee neighborhood and the from their union they welcomed a Daughter, Carol Adrienne Barrett (Small) in 1962. They purchased their 2nd home on Stockbridge Ave. Her family became members of Lee Road Baptist Church, where she encouraged her Daughter to actively participate, be of service and read bible stories to the smaller children in Sunday School class. Amanda lived on Stockbridge Ave. until 2007, before relocating to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
In Cleveland, Amanda was initiated into the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Omega Chapter in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960. Her life was full, she loved teaching the 4th Grade and participating in a multitude of service projects, mother-daughter Luncheons with her sorority. In 1976 she lead her Daughter to participate in the Delteen Ball. Amanda and daughter were members of Tots and Teens Intl., she lead to her Daughter to be presented to society, in the annual Tots and Teens Cotillion Ball, in 1977.
Amanda cherished her career as a 4th grade Teacher. Her classrooms were always adorned with amazingly colorful bulletin boards that she crafted the artwork for, all summer, year-after-year. Big brightly colored Flowers, Trees, Birds, Bees, Cars, Buses and children holding books, they were quite inviting rooms for her 4th graders. It brought Amanda great joy to invite her students into her home, who had a challenging homelife, to spend the weekend with her family, while teaching them to cook healthy meals, balance a bank account, providing extra help in Math, participate in community service projects and instilling upstanding citizenship values in them. Her daughter’s second twin bed, regularly had guests.
Her love of the Arts & Culture was evident as her students field trips often included visits to the Cleveland Orchestra, Harambee House Theater for Plays, The Nutcracker during the winter, Marcel Marceau the French Mime, The Supplementary Center and many other enriching activities, which she often included her daughter to join. 1976 was a great year for Amanda, she and her Daughter were honored to attend the movie premiere of “Countdown at Kusini” at the Shaker Theater, staring Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, which was fully funded by her sorority Delta Sigma Theta. There she proudly introduced her Daughter to the icon, Ruby Dee who bent down and gave a brief, and forever profound talk to her. In that same year she and her Daughter traveled by plane to Washington, DC to visit the Tutankhamun (King Tut) Exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute, gathering documents and artifacts from the exhibit, to assist her Daughter in sharing a presentation with her 9th Grade class.
It was in the fall of 1983 were she returned to Washington, DC to enroll her Daughter as a freshman at Howard University, and subsequently attend graduation in 1987. In 1989, Amanda reluctantly retired as a Teacher and often mentioned how much she missed her students. However, remained a positive, integral influence to other adults and children in the community.
On a hot summer day in August of 1991 in Silver Spring, Maryland, Amanda, along with former son-in-law, Gavin Mario Small and his family, welcomed her Grandson, Aaron Mario Small into the world. She was immensely in love with Aaron. He spent several summers with her from age 3 to age 9. When Amanda relocated to Chapel Hill, NC her Grandson Aaron, actively participated in her care, providing love, laughs, rides to the Charles House and a nurturing companionship full of hugs and kisses.
In the winter of 2007, Amanda was relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to join her Daughter and Grandson. Amanda enjoyed the warmer winters and mentioned “No more shoveling Snow is a great thing”! Here she formed loving relationships with her Caregivers from Wisdom Senior Care, Right at Home and enjoyed attending Senior Day Programs at the Charles House and the Passmore Center. Amanda became more vibrant and cheerful from the time she spent with the other seniors, and the caring, loving Staff at both programs. Her family and friends will be forever grateful for all that participated in her enriching senior-life experiences.
Amanda leaves to cherish her memory, Daughter, Carol Adrienne Barrett Small, her Grandson, Aaron Mario Small (wife Patrice), Her brothers Coleman, Douglas, Trenton, Ronald and many nieces, nephews, cousins whom she loved very much. Stepsons Mubarak (Jewel), Isaac Jr. (Cynthia), Stepdaughters, Charlotte (Tommy) and Frances (Richard), plus a host of Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren and Great-great grandchildren. Friends of the family whom she cherished and have assisted with her homegoing plans. Plus all of her dear Caregivers, UNC Doctors, NCEENC Optical Doctors, senior program staff, Jones Funeral Home family and Mama Dips Restaurant.
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