Emily P. Robinson
Emily Parker Robinson, businesswoman, and promoter of finer womanhood.

Robinson stood head and shoulders above others of her generation in her vigorous promotion of business opportunnities for women, finer womanhood and the arts. She received her high school and college education at Southern University High School and Southern University. She furthered her studies with a diploma from Tucker’s School of Business in St. Louis, Missouri and a Master’s Degree from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.

A prolific writer, she received a diploma from the Famous Writer’s School in Westport, Connecticut. In the 1940’s she and her husband Bernie founded Robinson Business College in Monroe. Robinson worked hard to help local Blacks get business training and worked to help each land jobs in places as high as the Pentagon. She believed in the ability of women to achieve in business and pursue careers and devoted much of her energy and time to promoting finer womanhood. In her mind finer womanhood meant obtaining the social graces home mangement skills peculiarly associated with women as well as professional career based skills.
A loyal member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she founded a clinic to teach social graces to girls. Her hope was that girls would be groomed in charm, grace and career motivation and then presented to the world as “Cinderellas.” The annual Cinderella Ball sponsored by the sorority is a product of her energetic efforts. Robinson was also song writer, poet and writer. She wrote scores of songs on a variety of subjects ranging from the blues to religion. It was not uncommon for her to appear at a Mt. Nebo Church with a guitar on her lap and sing one of her tunes.

Some were recorded. One of her songs “The Ballad of Monroe” was adopted by the Monroe City Council in the late 1960’s as the official song of the city of Monroe. It was taped and played daily as background music at the Civic Center fountain. She enrolled in the Famous Writer’s School for writers and graduated. Immediately thereafter she wrote a book entitled “Blacks In The Deep South.” It was an autobiographical account, although she changed the names, of her life as a student at Southern University, her romance with B.D. and the struggles of a dark skin woman facing the intraracial discrimination from light sking Blacks.

A play, based on her book, was written by Dr. George Brian, a drama professor at NLU. It featured many of her songs. She would not allow it to be staged in her lifetime for fear that people named might be offended. When she traveled to Africa in the early 1970’s she returned and began work on a second book entitled “I found my tribe.” It was never completed

Even as her health began to fail Emily P. and Bernie D. were a high profile presence in political, social and religious circles in Monroe. Whether she was working in her church at Mt. Nebo or waltzing with her husband at the Cinderella Ball, no social event seemed complete without the Robinsons.

She tirelessly supported efforts to build the Black community and gave the local community her best years and talent.

She died in July of 1995 after a lengthy illness