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Link Margaret Roselle Hawkins

Past National President

Margaret Roselle Hawkins
Second National President and Co-Founder
Philadelphia (PA) Chapter

Link Margaret Hawkins was born Margaret Josephine Roselle on January 12, 1908, in Philadelphia. She was the younger of two daughters of David and Anna Roselle. While attending the Philadelphia High School for Girls, her innate artistic talent was discovered and she entered the special program in the field of art. However, she is probably best remembered at Girls’ High for leading her Black classmates in a determined effort to attend the annual and, at that time, all-white senior prom. Rather than yield to the pressure for an integrated prom, school officers cancelled the affair.

This Co-founder and Second National President of The Links was graduated from Girls’ High in January 1927, and entered Philadelphia Normal School the following month. In June of that year, the Philadelphia Board of Education awarded her a four-year scholarship to the Women’s School of Design, later known as the Moore Institute of Art. After graduating in 1931, she was appointed to teach art in the Camden, New Jersey schools. There she soon became one of the city’s demonstration teachers in art techniques.

On May 13, 1933, she married Frederick C. Hawkins. She was the mother of two sons, Frederick, Jr., and Bruce Roselle Hawkins. When Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Philadelphia was rebuilt after a devastating fire, Link Hawkins painted twelve pictures depicting the Stations of the Cross, which were hung in the Church as a permanent memorial to her parents. This talented, creative woman not only served as the first president of the founding chapter, but she designed the Links bracelet. She was a member of the Eastern Arts Association, the National Arts Association, and the New Jersey Teachers Association. She was active in “Jack and Jill,” the Mother’s Study Club, the Sunday Niters, and the Dealers.

Link Hawkins was elected second national president of The Links at the Fifth Assembly in Buffalo in 1953. It was during her term in the National office that the now famous Links-NAACP life membership program was begun. Seeds of national programs were carefully nurtured during her tenure, and because of the rapid increase in the number of chapters, certain areas were reorganized. Link Margaret Hawkins died on October 4, 1963.

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