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Meet Edith Prunty Spencer – Black History Month Spotlight

Edith Prunty Spencer came to Flint with her husband in 1950 and quickly began to leave her loving mark on our community. The Hon. Dale E. Kildee said the following of Mrs. Spencer in June 1997, “I rise today to pay tribute to…Edith Prunty Spencer…Mrs. Spencer has been an inspiration to me for her dedication to literacy. Her love of reading led her to work in a number of positions at the Flint Public Library. She retired as Chief of Public Service from the library in 1987 after 37 years of service. An active member of the Urban League, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Mrs. Spencer has provided our community with a strong advocate for women.

Mrs. Spencer has been recognized by her peers on many occasions for her selfless dedication to making our community a better place. She was the recipient of the Hands of Mercy Award, was recognized by Who’s Who of American Women, and was named Alumnae of Year by Wayne State Unive rsity. I know that Mrs. Spencer was deeply honored when the Flint Public Library named the periodicals department, the “Edith Prunty Spencer Room.”

Mrs. Prunty Spencer’s good works didn’t end when those words were spoken of her in 1997. Edith still serves on the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army of Genesee County, a position she’s held for over thirty years, even receiving its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The Flint Human Relations Commission recognized her in 2009 with the Robert and Sybyl Atwood Volunteer of the Year Award. More recently, in April 2011, Mrs. Prunty Spencer was inducted into The Genesee County Women’s Hall of Fame, and in September 2011, she received a Lifetime of Service Award from The Flint Jewish Federation.

Mrs. Prunty Spencer sums her life’s philosophy up best in this except from a 2009 Flint Journal article,

You cannot be critical of something which you have not tried to work with. You need to be involved with something. You need to make a difference, even if it is a small difference.

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