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Rani Hale Cox-Rawles

Born on 11-9-1927. She was born in Buffalo, NY. She later died on 2-23-1996.
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Rani Hale was born in Buffalo to George and Robuty Hale on November 9, 1927. She attended Elementary School #12 and graduated from Fosdick Masten Park High School. Rani was an exemplary student, a path she set to follow throughout her life.

At the age of twenty-one, she left Buffalo for Europe to attend the University of Paris at Sorbonne. Rani worked and received her Bachelor of Arts, Batchelor of Science, Master of Arts, and Master of Science degrees. She moved to New York City where she lived for several years before returning home to be with her mother. Rani continued her education at the University at Buffalo and completed her Ph.D. studies in 1965.

She was baptized into the Emmanuel Temple, Seventh-Day Adventist Church by Pastor Russell T. Wilson. She worked as a teacher in the Sabbath School Department, radio broadcast consultant, and consultant/advisor for the Education Committee.

Rani was a project administer for the Buffalo Board of Education from 1970 until her retirement. She taught English, among many other things, from 1957 to 1970 at then East High School. Her outreach was known in the education and civic circles. Some of her membership organizations included: the Black Educators Association, National Education Association, Future Teachers of America (Advisor), Project Able, Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Girl Scouts of America (Board of Directors), Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Her other educational endeavors included positions as an instructor in Aspire; Director of the CAC Youth Employment; Commencement Speaker at Kleinhan's Music Hall; and Lecturer at the University of Bombay, India (1972). In addition, she was a community consultant for several local television news stations.

Rani married Cornelius Rawles on November 28, 1959. They were married for thirty-six years until her death on February 23, 1996.

Personal Remembrances of a Fine Lady

I first met Rani Cox in 1956 when I was a seventh grader at School 37 and she was my art teacher. At the time, there weren't many African American teachers in the system, and Miss Cox was the first one that I had in a long time. She was beautiful and exotic. She reminded me of Eartha Kitt, not only because of her looks, but I suppose because she had studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and could speak French. She also had a very acculturated accent. So when she spoke, it was sometimes difficult to understand her. Of course some of the kids made fun of the way that she talked, and there was always one in the class who would try to imitate her. One day, she had one of these wise guys in the front of the room so she could better control his behavior. As she was talking to the rest of the class, she realized that he was behind her, and turned to him and said, "Excuse my baack." Huh, he replied. She repeated, "Excuse my baack." Again, the reply came back, Huh? Ms. Cox coolly replied, "Excuse my baack, jackass." The class broke into laughter and the class clown fell silent!

A few years later, I was placed in a junior English class at East High School with Mrs. Cox-Rawles. She was as demanding an English teacher as she was an Art teacher. We had to learn a new word and use it, each day. And we dared not know how to diagram a sentence! She was an excellent teacher who left an impression that has lasted over forty years.

Barbara A. Seals Nevergold