|Repository:||University of Georgia Archives|
|Creator:||Early, Mary Frances|
|Title:||Mary Frances Early papers|
|Quantity:||0.25 Linear feet (1 box)|
Mary Frances Early was born on June 14, 1936 in Atlanta, Georgia to John and Ruth Early. She attended Turner High School and went on to graduate from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She originally attended the University of Michigan, in 1960, for her graduate studies, but transferred to the University of Georgia in 1961. Earlier that year the university was integrated by Charlayne Hunter (Gault) and Hamilton Holmes, the first African Americans to enroll. In 1962, Mary Frances Early became the first African American to graduate, with her master’s in music education, from the university. During her studies, Early was subject to discrimination and abuse from her peers. However, she returned to the university, in 1967, to complete her educational specialist degree and, in 2000, her achievements were formally recognized by the University of Georgia.
Ms. Early’s extensive career in music education includes thirty-seven years of service in the Atlanta Public School System. She began as a music teacher, rising to area music supervisor, and eventually coordinator of music. In 1995, she became an adjunct professor at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. Later she served as the chairman of the music department at Clark Atlanta University. Ms. Early served as president of the Georgia Music Educators Association and has been involved with the Music Educators National Conference, College Music Society, and National Association of Schools of Music. Ms. Early's many honors and recognitions include the STAR Teacher Award (1972); Benjamin E. Mays Black Music Heritage Award (1995); UGA Outstanding Alumna Award (2000); and UGA Foot Soldier for Equal Justice Award (2011).
Additional Information: Mary Frances Early, New Georgia Encyclopedia Thomas G. Dyer, The University of Georgia: A Bicentennial History 1785-1985 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985). Robert A. Pratt, We Shall Not Be Moved: The Desegregation of the University of Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002). Calvin Trillin, An Education in Georgia: The Integration of Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes (New York: Viking, 1964).
The collection consists of letters related to her admission process, copies of news clippings related to her time at UGA, biographical materials and other items. Of particular interest is a 1962 letter of congratulations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., praising her efforts.
Mary Frances Early Papers, UA07-015, University Archives, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.
Related collections in this repository: University of Georgia Integration Material.
Related materials in other repositories: Hamilton Holmes Papers, King Center; Mary Frances Early papers, Charlayne Hunter-Gault Papers, and Walter A. Lundy Files; Red and Black (Fall 1953) Integration Issue Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies; and WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection, Walter J. Brown Media Archives.