Brantley honors unsung heroes: Ethel Tate awarded for service

Published 9:08 am Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ethel Tate, a former Brantley educator was chosen as the second unsung hero of Brantley. Tate taught for more than 30 years. Journal Photo/Shayla Terry

By: Shayla Terry

The Brantley City Council continued its honorable selection of unsung heroes by adding Ethel Tate to the elite class.

“This is quite an award,” Brantley mayor Bernie Sullivan said. “We all have concurred that the unsung heroes of Brantley are so important. Ms. Tate is a good example of a lady who has given her life to Brantley as an educator.”

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Tate was an educator in the Brantley school system for more than 30 years. She is a Brantley native and joined Brantley AME Church at the age of 6 years old. Tate completed her high school education at the local African American school in Brantley. In 1951, she graduated from Alabama State University with a bachelor’s degree in education. Tate returned home to teach in Brantley and at the Woodford School in Luverne. She retired from Brantley Elementary School as a kindergarten teacher.

Councilman Lorey Bogan recalled that Tate had taught all of his older brothers.

“She taught everyone except me and my younger brother,” he said. “Everyone knew who she was and what she meant to the school. She is a great lady.”

Greater St. Matthew AME Church pastor Willie White is in charge of the Brantley Unsung heroes program. The program was his brainchild almost two years ago, and has finally come to fruition.

“We’re recognizing people and giving them their flowers while they are alive to receive them,” White said. “A lot of people from Brantley or within Brantley have made a significant difference that we have no clue about. The more the community and family members expose these people for their contribution and we get to read about them, we will really be shocked at all the people do.”

In order to be selected as an unsung hero, a nomination must be made. From there, the Brantley council will collect information on the person nominated and present them before the council during their monthly meetings, on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

Nominations can be made through Brantley’s Town Hall or through the Brantley town email at