East Central Illinois Legacy Project: Hattie Paulk

East Central Illinois Legacy Project: Hattie Paulk

Mahomet Daily

Published Date: February 16, 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week the Mahomet Daily will feature residents of East Central Illinois who have done the little things in their lives to make a difference in moving equality for all forward. This project is in partnership with the Museum of the Grand Prairie, which is collecting stories for their This Legacy is Yours project.

For Hattie Paulk, love conquers all.

“My family (parents Robert Lee and Marcella Chipman Taylor) was one of the first black families to settle in Champaign-Urbana,” Paulk said. “My grandfather worked like a sidewalk politician who would organize people in the community. My aunt and uncle were the founders of the First Church of God in Christ in Champaign.”

It wasn’t just the Taylors who were organizing for their community, though. Paulk looks back fondly on her days at the Neighborhood House, a recreational space for African Americans who were denied access to local facilities because of segregation.

Paulk is featured in the Museum of the Grand Prairie’s Legacy Wall.