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Wandalene Brady Black

She was born in Oklahoma City, OK.
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Wandalene Black was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Mable Griffin and Walter Brady. She joined the Girl Scouts when she was eight years old, and started baking cakes to sell at age 12. Since many people could not afford to buy her cakes, she gave them away, which reinforced at an early age what it was like to help others.

Black graduated from Douglas High School in 1956 and then attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma in 1956 but left after her freshman year. Shortly thereafter, she married Luke J. Black, Jr. who was in the military at the time, and they had three children together. Black became a stay at home mom and volunteered in a variety of roles including being a homeroom mother, a volunteer reading teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary School, President of the Boy Scouts Troop 281, a member of the PTA, and a parent volunteer at Del City High School assisting the theatrical arts department with productions.

Black later returned to finish her education at the University of Central Oklahoma where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Communications in 1979. She then received her Certification in Special Education in 1981. She completed her student teaching at Star Spencer High, where she taught English and Drama. She then began teaching Special Education at Douglas High School. She worked at Douglas High for eight years, where she served as the ninth grade, eleventh grade, and twelfth grade sponsors and prepared floral arrangements for special events. In the interim, Black taught at Kaiser Elementary School for one year where she volunteer tutored students before school hours. She recognized the need for improving the essential skills of young children to make a significant difference at the high school and collegiate levels.

Black then finished her teaching career at Capitol Hill High School where she taught Special Education for eleven years before retiring in 1999. During her tenure at Capitol Hill, Black served as the human relations spokesperson and prepared the floral arrangements for special events. She also formed a performing arts organization called Intensity in order to encourage troubled students to stay out of gangs, to stay off drugs, and to stay in school, while being positive mentors. Intensity was featured over the years in the Daily Oklahoman, in other local newspapers, on the local news stations, and nationally on Black Entertainment Television (BET). Intensity was recognized by the University of Oklahoma, Langston University, and by the Governor of Oklahoma for being a positive organization for inner city children.

Black was recognized in 1994 for years of dedicated service to the Voters of Oklahoma County, and nominated by KOCO TV Channel 5 and Presbyterian Foundations's 5 Who Care Program in 1994 for merit achievement in volunteer service, recognized from 1996-1997 as Who's Who in American Education, recognized for outstanding community service by the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, Inc. from 1998-2000, and recognized by the American Federation of Teachers for community service in 2001.

Black has always served God. She was baptized at Shiloh Baptist Church when she was 8 years old, then joined Evangelist Baptist Church in 1961. She served as the President of the Young Matrons beginning in 1968, sang in the choir, and became Evangelistic's Second Vice-President, then President of the Women's Missionary Union from 1978-1981. She served as the Oklahoma State Public Relations Director for the State Progressive Baptist Convention in 1980. Black made the floral arrangements for Evangelistic for 24 years and served in a host of other positions at the church. She currently serves as the Christian Education Director and New Members Orientation Director at Evangelistic.

In 2000, Black helped Evangelistic form as a faith based non-profit foundation. She also founded a free after school tutoring program for underserved children called Back to Basics where she currently serves as the director. She also serves as the President of the Foster Grandparent Council of Oklahoma. The agency co-partners with Evangelistic to provide trained grandparents to work directly with the elementary and middle school students under Black's direction to improve their reading, writing and math skills. The tutoring program has been featured in various publications including the Daily Oklahoman. Black was recognized by Americorp as a smart site supervisor in 2004 by joining Americorp. Black was also recognized in 2006 as a woman of distinction by Evangelistic for over 40 years of continuous service, and recognized from 2001-2007 by the Southeast Asia Health Center, Inc. for contributing significantly to the betterment of community and society.

Black joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in 1990 and continues to live her life to serve God, Community, and Family. Although Black lost her dear husband in 1987, she chose to carry on. She consider herself too blessed to be stressed. Black's other passions are her three children and five beautiful grandchildren. Her son Luke is an entrepreneur, her son Shawn is an MBA graduate who works as a director of a state youth agency, and her daughter Ieshia is an Oklahoma attorney and jazz singer. Black appears on her daughter's 2006 debut CD entitled X-Citing as helping with the musical direction. She is affectionately known by all as Queen Wandalene.