The Local Take Talks with Mary Frances Early, Trailblazing Educator

Dec 28, 2019

Mary Frances Early First African American graduate from the University of Georgia

This week on The Local Take I speak with Mary Frances Early, the first African-American graduate of the University of Georgia.  Ms. Early graduated with a Master's Degree from UGA in 1962, after earning her bachelor's degree at what was then called Clark College. 

She speaks about the two undergraduate students, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, who were attending and explains that she applied to the graduate school.  She planned to attend in the summer because she was also a music teacher with Atlanta Public Schools.  She explained that she had hoped the students would be more mature, but unfortunately they were not welcoming.  

She completed the program and graduated with a Master's in Music Education. She went on to lead the music program for the Atlanta Public Schools.  She also led the music department at Clark Atlanta University. In 1981, Early became the first African American elected president of the Georiga Music Educators Association. She is the subject of a 2018 documentary A Quiet Legacy: Mary Frances Early's Legacy at UGA

In October, 2019  the University of Georgia named their School of Education in her honor.  In November, 2019 the Atlanta City Council also honored Ms. Early.  

For more information on Mary Frances Early