“She was a no-nonsense kind of woman but at the same time a caring woman … She taught you that you could be a woman and an African American and succeed regardless of the obstacles before you.”

~ Dawnna Dukes, Texas state representative in the Austin American-Statesman

In St. John Colony of Dale, Texas, Azie Taylor was born to Fleta Hazel Taylor on February 1, 1936.  As an adult, Azie shared during a speech at college in South Carolina that she never knew who her father was and that her mother was deaf and mute.  Because of these factors, Azie was primarily reared by her maternal grandparents on their farm.

A bright, industrious and ambitious child, she shined in primary school.  She then attended the Texas Blind, Deaf and Orphan School in Austin for secondary school.  The reasons for this were because there were no high schools for African-Americans in her community and she was permitted to attend this charity-sponsored institution because of her mother’s conditions.  There, Azie continued to excel, graduating in 1952 at only sixteen years old.