Dorothy Hadley Bayen

Name: Dorothy Hadley Bayen (Hadley)
Birth Date: November 20, 1906
Birth Place: Evanston Illinois, USA
Death Date: April 7, 1988
Death Location: Washington D.C.
Burial Place: Woodlawn Cemetery, NYC


Dorothy Pauline Hadley Bayen (1906-1988) was born November 20, 1906. Her father was a City of Evanston waterworks laborer. She graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1924. She worked as a secretary and attended Northwestern University for a short time before transferring to Howard University in Washington, DC. There she met Malaku Bayen, a medical student at Howard and a distant relation of Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia. The couple married in 1931.

Upon graduation, they moved to Ethiopia where Dr. Malaku Bayen became personal physician to the Emperor. They returned to the U.S. in 1935 after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. For a time, she reported on the war from Addis Ababa as a correspondent for the New York based paper, the Amsterdam News. When the couple left Ethiopia with their young son, they endured a harrowing journey back to the U.S. They settled in New York City and got involved in the pro-Ethiopian movement through the Ethiopian World Federation (EWF), holding meetings, raising funds for refugees, and writing for a newspaper, the Voice of Ethiopia. Their outreach through the Black churches in Harlem and beyond was critical to building support for the country in the U.S. during the war years.

In 1940, Maluku Bayen died of complications from influenza. The Voice of Ethiopa closed one year later, just as the country of Ethiopia was liberated from Italy, and the EWF also ceased operations. Soon after, Dorothy Bayen took a job as budget officer at Howard University in Washington D.C. She died in 1988.

Father: Joseph P. Hadley
Mother: Dora B. Roach
Children: One; Malaku E. Jr. (c. 1932)
Education: Howard University, 1931-1932. Northwestern University, 1931. Evanston Township High School, c. 1927-1931. Foster School, c. 1919-1927.
Years in Evanston: 1906-1931

Sources: CCC News, Thursday, 4/19/1984, p. 4; Evanston News Index, 1931 "Evanston Girl Bride of Abyssinian Crown Prince;" unidentified newspaper article,"Former Evanston Girl Weds Abyssinian Heir to Throne;" Finding Aid: Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library; Fikru Negash Gebrekidan, “Race, Gender, and Pageantry: The Ups and Downs of an African American Woman in Imperial Ethiopia,” Northeast African Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2021, pp. 265–300.

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