10 September 2012 @ 06:00 pm
Bios: Cameilla Brook Belles (CBB)  
Clara Hartley



Name: Clara May Hartley
Born: May 22, 1899 in Camellia Brook, Alabama
Parents: David Hartley and Ellen Shroud
Education: Graduated from West Camellia Brook High School
Race/Ethnicity: Black/African American

Clara is the eldest of David and Ellen Hartley’s four children. She arrived two years after they married (in 1897). She was named after her mother’s deceased younger sister.

The Hartley wanted the best for their daughter and they enrolled her in West Camellia Brook School of Young Children in 1905. From the start Clara excelled. She was proficient at reading and writing and had a good grasp on history.

Clara attended West Camellia Brook High School from 1913-1917, graduating in the top of the 80 student class. Clara wasn’t able to attend college as there were no black colleges around the area and her parents didn’t want to send her out of the state. Thus Clara started working at the West Camellia Brook Textile Mill in 1918.

Ruth Wang

Name: Ruth Rose Wang
Born: August 1, 1899
Parents: Jerry Wang and Sarah Chang
Education: Graduated from West Camellia Brook High School
Race/Ethnicity: Asian/Chinese-American


Ruth is the sixth of the Wang’s eight children. She is the eldest daughter being followed by two younger sisters in 1901 and 1903 respectively.

Ruth’s grandparents (both sets) emigrated from China around 1850. They settled in West Camellia sometime around the 1860s after moving from the East Coast.

Ruth grew up secure in her large family. She never wanted for anything as her father is a doctor on the West Side of Camellia.

Ruth sometimes feels as though her family pressures her too much. She simply loves dancing and wants to pursue that as a career path, but her family wants her to pursue a more convenient career path if she works at all.


Helen Helms

Name: Helen Jane Helms
Born: October 21, 1900 in East Camellia Brook, Alabama
Parents: John Helms and Helena Johnson
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian/Irish American
Education: Graduated from Miss Dorothy’s Finishing School. Currently deferring attendance to the East Camellia Brook School for Young Ladies.




Helen is the middle child of the Helms family and is spoiled. Her father is lawyer working for the city and her mother is socialite that hosts parties for Alabama’s elite. Helen had her coming out in 1918, but she turned down two proposals causing her mother to complain that she’ll never have grandchildren by Helen.

Helen has one passion and that to be on the stage. She doesn’t think highly of the big screen and says she’d rather continue into the ancient tradition of the stage.

Helen gets along better with her elder brother, John, than she does with her younger sister Grace. She hates it when her mother asks her to watch Grace as she says “Why employ the coloreds if you’re going to ask me to watch her?”

Stella Polk

Name: Stella Josephine Polk
Born: January 29, 1899 in West Camellia Brook, Alabama.
Parents: Henry Polk and Dahlia Williamson
Education: Graduated from West Camellia Brook High School. Currently taking typing classes
Race/Ethnicity: Native American/Creek (Musogee)



Stella is the only child of older parents and thus she is thought of as highly special. While she was growing up, people often complimented her on her looks, though Stella didn’t think much of herself.

Stella attended West Camellia Brook High School from the years 1913-1918. There she met Clara Hartley who was in the same grade as she. Though the girls knew of each other, they didn’t often speak to each other. Stella usually hung out with her other Native American classmates. She once commented that it seemed that even though the school was for all “colored” it sure seemed to be divided.

Stella has dreams of being a famous model. She isn’t sure of what she wants to model, but she thinks highly of being an artist’s model. Her parents are supportive of her with her dreams, but Stella doesn’t often talk them about her dreams of moving to the big city out East.


Cora Orozco



Name: Cora Isabella Orozco
Born: June 12, 1901 in West Camellia Brook, Alabama.
Parents: Hector Orozco and Maria Martinez
Education: Recently graduated from West Camellia Brook High School
Race/Ethnicity: Mestizo/Puerto Rican American



Cora is the eldest of four girls. She was born in 1901, some five months after her parent’s marriage. She was soon followed by her younger sisters.

From the time she was five, Maria started to teach her daughter how to sew and mend clothes. Cora’s younger sisters scoffed at the training, but Cora reveled in it. By the time she was ten, she was making her own clothes.

Cora became friends with Clara Hartley when they were in high school. Clara often assumed the big sister role to her because of their two year age difference. Cora was immensely sad when Clara graduated. But after Cora graduated, Clara arranged for her to come work with her at the West Camellia Brook Textile Company.

Cora dreams of starting her own fashion house like some of fashion’s greats, but her mother calls this ridiculous as why would any sane woman pay another woman to make her own clothes when she could make them herself?