During the 1960s, 70s and 80s although doodling, coloring and painting through-out childhood offered pleasant gratification, a more serious interest wasn't particularly gained until the early 1990s. As an adult, my first mural was on my bedroom wall in Pembroke Pines, Florida a scene called Eleuthera, Bahamas. Other paintings were on tables and chairs. Born in Virginia, raised in Miami's Historic Over-Town, Fort Pierce, Florida was my second home since childhood. Our family's first roots begin in a place we call home, the southern state of Tallahassee Florida. Raised by a single mother and my grandmother, they both were multi-talented. Ida Mae Francis Black was an artist herself, she had the gift from God. A multiracial heritage of white, black and Seminole, her grand-ma D-Eye, who raised her and helped her raise her children, was a full-blood Seminole Indian. D-Eye would move her jet black hair to the side, just to keep from sitting on it.

Grandmother was married to German Jones, they were very much in love. Grandfather was a young man when one day on his way to work fell dead with a heart attack. Grandmother knew there would never be another quite like him. Her white blood-line gene was strong, her long black hair and white skin dominated her appearance as white. As a child, growing-up with grandmother, the color of her skin never dawned on me' and I never realized she was anything other than my grandmother, whom I loved dearly.

In 1914, grandmother was born and raised in Tallahassee, during the early 1940s she raised her six mixed children. One day, she and her siblings were forced to leave their home, by the KKK. A proud loving mother she was no longer able to protect her multiracial family. Three daughters mixed with Indian and black, one daughter dominated the black gene, one white son and one black son, her kids took on her heritage and each of her traits. During the 1930s and '40s mixing the races placed her in violation of the Jim Crow Law's, and raising a family of six on her own made life difficult and dangerous.

As kids grandmother, asked us to paint her statues of Mother Mary, and two soldiers, she said they represented her two sons. It would be the beginning of other projects she would ask us to paint. Her white son was left living in Rochester NY, with a white a family, never to be seen again. Her black son, Spec 4 Paul Jones was killed in Vietnam action didn't live to see his 21st birthday, three weeks before he was to return home.

Summer vacations were spent in Fort Pierce Florida, 2513 avenue J, with auntie and uncle. A long-time respected member of the community, my uncle owned a stucco business. In the ’60s, I attended fourth grade at Means Court Elementary, while living with a second aunt and uncle.

Although the Highwaymen did not receive fame until the 1990s, during the ’60s, uncle supported the young black artists by purchasing a collection of their art. Harold Newton on black velvet, Alfred Hair, Livingston Roberts and Mary-Ann Carroll who traded her art for uncle's stucco services. Raised with Highwaymen Art, uncle Alfred offered my first childhood introduction.

A destiny that seemed to be all in God’s plan, lead to a life-changing career. On long hot summer days, I was drawn to the vivid colors and imagined myself in the paintings which told stories of life growing up in the deep south.

Within our family tree, there are empty spaces of long lost bloodline family relatives, who we know to exist or existed lost connections, but many were never connected surrounds a host of dynamics. Multiple family blood-line relatives on my grandmother's side, are the names Black and Williams, they are waiting to be discovered. Unknown history is crucial to most family trees who struggle to find their family roots.

Years later, grandmother stopped traveling the roads of Florida, she and part of her family settled in Fort, Pierce Florida. Then, she and some of her family moved deeper south and settled in Over-town Miami and several surrounding areas.

I am a Blue Star mother of two, who fought and served Iraq and Korea, we are a Gold Star family, rooted in a long line of soldiers, our family has served the United States Army, Air Force, and Marines over decades. To those who lost their lives, you are remembered!


Florida Highwaymen artists Al Black, AJ Brown, and Carnell Smith are members of the City of Fort Pierce Highwaymen Trail

2009 AJ Brown, AL "Blood" Black & Carnell "Pete" Smith

Original Highwaymen Artist Johnny Daniels is a member of the Highwaymen Trail

A J Brown & Johnny Daniels Grave-site Monument

Original Sylvester Wells, Historic 2nd Generation Roy McLendon and A J Brown

Florida Highwaymen Exhibition Opening Night Gala a Big Hit

A J Brown is a member of the Fort Pierce Highwaymen Trail

2009 Alzheimer's fundraiser A J donates her finest work: 2011 early morning sail

2008 Original Highwaymen and Historic AJ Brown are a part of the Fort Pierce, Florida Highwaymen Trail

2008 Roy McLendon Sr. visits Johnny Daniels and AJ Brown

The Only Original Female and Historic Highwaymen AJ Brown are a part of the Fort Pierce, Florida Highwaymen Trail

2009 AJ Brown 2nd Gen and Ms First Lady MaryAnn Carroll

Historic 2nd Generation Highwaymen women of Fort Pierce, Florida

2009 Diane Roberts, Gertrude Walker, AJ Brown 2nd Gen Highway-women

All are members of the Highwaymen Trail and Fort Pierce Tours

2009 Alzheimer’s Fundraiser
Ms First Lady MaryAnn Carroll, Richard Edwards, AJ Brown

Gallery Art

2nd generation A J Brown a member of the highwaymen trail

“Primitive Poinciana” by A J Brown

Paintings by 2nd generation A J Brown a member of the Highwaymen Trail

“Stormy Palms” by A J Brown

The Highwaymen Trail, a significant part of Highwaymen history

“Picking’ Oranges” by A J Brown

A J Brown is a member of the fort pierce Highwaymen trail

“Moonlite Over Rivers Edge” by A J Brown

fort pierce tours

“Docks by Poinciana Palms” by A J Brown

fort pierce tours

“Tangerine Skies” by A J Brown

a member of fort pierce tours

“Poinciana Curve” by A J Brown

the highwaymen trail