Audrey Lucinda Robinson – 1915-2008
Audrey Robinson was the first African American teacher at Thornhill Elementary School in Oakland, Ca.
Audrey Lucinda Robinson was the daughter of Charles Nelson and Maude Gibson. She was born in 1915 in Oakland. She attended Peralta School and graduated from Claremont in 1930 and University High in 1933. The family lived at 6148 Colby Street.
She was a member of the Colored YWCA at 8th and Linden in West Oakland. She was a member of a club that included Lionel Wilson, the former Mayor of Oakland.
Audrey married Frederick D. Robinson, a Washington, D.C. police officer in 1941, shortly before he was deployed to fight in World War II. In 1944 Robinson died during combat in Italy.
Thornhill Elementary School
She was the first African American teacher at Thornhill School in the Montclair District of Oakland. She taught kindergarten for 10 years from 1966-1976. She said that she never experienced any form of racism from the children, staff, or parents. She said about one African American child would join her class every year. She loved her time at Thornhill and love the children. She was loved by the children.
Audrey was dedicated to preserving the history of African Americans in the City of Oakland, and she volunteered with the African American Museum and Library of Oakland (AAMLO). She also became very active at the Oakland Museum, serving as Docent Chairman for the History Department. She also served as Vice President of Administration for the Cameron-Stanford House Preservation Association.
Audrey passed away in June of 2008 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Audrey was predeceased by her husband, a WW II fatality, and her son. She is survived by her daughter, Jeri, her grandson Frederick and two great-grandsons.
- Obituary East Bay Times – Audrey L. Robinson
- Oral history – Audrey Gibson Robinson
- Oakland Local Wiki – Gibson Family