Carnell Rogers was born in Lauderdale Mississippi, Thanksgiving day, November 25th 1915, on approximately 480 acres of land owned by her grandfather Alex Heard who purchased the land from his slave master shortly after the emancipation of slaves in 1865. Carnell was the second born of eleven children to Harrison and Alberta “Big Mama” Heard.
Rogers is the mother of three girls; Alice Ruth, born February 4th 1935, and a set of twins, Martha and Mary, born August 23, 1939. Alice Ruth, the oldest daughter passed away in 2005.
In 1945, due to the decline of domestic and common laboring job opportunities for Blacks in St. Louis, and to assert her independence for her herself and her children, Rogers moved from St. Louis, MO. to Richmond, Ca.
During the end of World War II, Rogers was employed as an inspector by Small Arms Ammunition Plant, and worked eight- hour shifts examining 50 caliber shells for unblemished and uncontaminated quality.
She remembered being taught embroidery, basket weaving, and how to make clothes in grade school. She soon enrolled in a sewing and tailoring class at Contra Costa College, and there she learned how to make patterns of coats and dresses.
Mother Roger’s has many passions including gardening – she would fill every available spot around her house. In the front and back yards you would find all types of vegetables and flowers. Today, you can see her participating in gardening activities at the Brookdale Senior Living Complex.
Mother Rogers is a member of Davies Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, where Rev. David Hartfield, is the senior pastor.