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This profile was last updated on 8/1/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Ms. Mary Frances Early

Wrong Mary Frances Early?

African American President

Phone: (678) ***-****  HQ Phone
Local Address:  Georgia , United States
Georgia Music Educators Association
218 Willis Drive Hudson 75 Business Park
Stockbridge , Georgia 30281
United States

Company Description: GMEA is a state affiliate of the Music Educators National Conference and is a comprehensive state-wide organization serving the needs of music educators at all...   more

Employment History

  • Chair of the Department of Music
    Clark Atlanta University
  • Chairperson of the Music Department and Professor of Music
    Clark Atlanta University
  • Head of the Music Department
    Clark Atlanta University
  • New Georgia Encyclopedia


  • bachelor's degree
    then-Clark College
  • University of Michigan
  • specialist degree , music education
25 Total References
Web References
The New Social Worker Online Blog: August 2012, 1 Aug 2012 [cached]
Mary Frances Early received her master's degree in music education from UGA on August 16, 1962.
However, Early transferred to Georgia from the University of Michigan and was the first of these pioneering students to graduate. She eventually became the first African American president of the Georgia Music Educators Association, and later was the head of the music department at Clark Atlanta University.
Later, around 1968, the first African American professor arrived on the UGA campus. That professor was Dr. Richard M. Graham, a pioneer in the field of music therapy, who became my professor and a major influence in my life in the same school of music from which Mary Frances Early had graduated.
Mary Frances Early (b. ..., 15 May 2005 [cached]
Mary Frances Early (b. 1936) New Georgia Encyclopedia: Mary Frances Early (b. 1936)
New Georgia Encyclopedia
NGE >> History and Archaeology >> Civil Rights and Sunbelt Georgia, 1945-1990 >> People >> Mary Frances Early (b. 1936)
Mary Frances Early (b. 1936)
Mary Frances Early Mary Frances Early became the first African American to graduate from the University of Georgia (UGA).
Early was born on June 14, 1936, in Atlanta to Ruth and John H. Early.
Courtesy of Mary Frances Early
Mary Frances Early Early received an acceptance letter from UGA on May 10, 1961, and within a few days she arrived in Athens for summer classes. While at UGA she was the victim of repeated abuses. She recalls students throwing lemons at her at the dining hall and students trying to bar her from the library one evening by joining hands in front of the library doors. Her automobile was defiled with a racial slur, but Early had the car repainted and continued her studies. Despite the discrimination she endured at UGA, Early says, "I came to love Georgia as a school.
Early is the chair of the Department of Music at Clark Atlanta University.
• FSP Unsung Foot Soldiers: Mary Frances Early
EDU 08, 1 Nov 2004 [cached]
The lecture is named in honor of the first African-American graduate of UGA, Mary Frances Early, who earned a master of music education in 1962.She currently is chairperson of the music department and professor of music at Clark Atlanta University.Early played an integral role in the desegregation of UGA and that role is featured in the documentary "Foot Soldiers for Equal Justice," which was coproduced by GAPS advisor Maurice Daniels.
New Georgia Encyclopedia: Education, 8 July 2013 [cached]
Mary Frances Early (b. 1936)
Early honored for being ..., 15 Feb 2011 [cached]
Early honored for being first black to earn a degree at UGA | Community Spirit
Title (Max 100 Characters) Early honored for being first black to earn a degree at UGA
ATHENS -- (Athens Banner Herald) Mary Frances Early was so happy Monday morning that she burst into song.
Mary Frances Early meets J.J. Harris Elementary School student Keshundra Glenn on Monday during a reception at J.J. Harris in Early's honor.
"What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. That's the only thing there's just too little of," Early sang in her clear, sweet voice - right in the middle of her speech to more than 500 people attending the annual Freedom Breakfast at the University of Georgia's Tate Student Center.
Early, UGA's first black graduate, gave the keynote address Tuesday morning, then spent part of the afternoon at J.J. Harris Elementary School for a community reception in her honor - where she explained why she sang.
"I didn't plan to sing that little portion of the song," said Early, who enrolled as UGA's first black graduate student in 1961 and was the first black person to graduate from the university when she earned her master's degree in music education in 1962.
But, she said, "I was so emotional.
Early had a long and distinguished career in music education after graduating from UGA - as a teacher and administrator for 37 years in the Atlanta public school system, and later as head of the music department at Clark Atlanta University.
She said she was happy Monday because of the honor and recognition she got as a pioneer in the desegregation of the university. But she also was sad as she thought of King, whom she knew, and how his life ended too soon, cut short by an assassin's bullet.
"This has been a most extraordinary day for me," she said. "It took 38 years for the University of Georgia to even recognize I was here, but Lord, since they started, it's like fast-forward."
In her morning talk, Early recalled a time when UGA was not so welcoming.
Just days after the university's first two black students, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) set foot on campus, Early decided to support them by transferring to UGA from graduate school at the University of Michigan.
At one point that summer, a group of jeering students - young white men - threw rocks at her, Early said. When one of the rocks hit her in the shoulder, she threw it back at them.
Early tried even harder after that to act as King taught, with love and without violence.
"We have come a long way since 1961," Early marveled. "You have done a superb job and have brought the University of Georgia closer to the American dream."
But UGA and the nation still haven't fulfilled King's vision, she said.
"It is our challenge - no, our responsibility - to make the dream a complete reality," she said.
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