Education, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Honor graduate.

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From “The American Negro in College 1943-44,” The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races, volume 51, number 8 (August 1944).

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Macy Oveta Aldridge was born 20 January 1923 in Dudley, Wayne County, to John J. and Ora Bell Mozingo Aldridge. She attended Wayne County public schools, then received an undergraduate degree from Georgia State College (now Savannah State University.) After her honorable discharge in 1946, she resumed her education at the University of Pennsylvania and Glassboro State College. Cousin Macy worked as a laboratory technician for the United States Army Medical Corps and then as a teacher. She married Clay J. Claiborne and was mother of three sons. Macy Claiborne died 12 October 1999 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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Macy Aldridge Claiborne.

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Education, Maternal Kin, Photographs, Virginia

Dorothy Whirley, Class of ’48.

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1948 yearbook, Frederick Douglass Senior High School, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Senior Dorothy L. Whirley listed “no discrimination” as the characteristic of a true democracy, “stocking runs” as her pet peeve, and “to become successful” as her plan after  graduation. Dorothy, the daughter of Matilda Whirley and McKinley Steward, was born in Charles City County, Virginia, in December 1929. Her grandmother was Emma Allen Whirley (1879-after 1930), daughter of Graham and Mary Brown Allen.

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Education, Maternal Kin, Other Documents

Candidates for degree of Bachelor of Laws.

Tailored to women from working-class families, Portia Law School was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1908.  Sensitive to the financial and time pressures these women faced, it offered part-time enrollment as well as the high school and college-level courses required to prepare students for legal studies. During the Great Depression, Portia Law School began opening up its programs to male students. The candidates for the Bachelor of Laws in the Class of 1932, however, were all female. And cousin Evelyn C. Kiner was one.

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Portia Law School continues today as New England School of Law.

Many thanks to Peggy King Jorde and Peggy King Jorde Archive for sharing this document.

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Education, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

State Colored Normal School student.

I stumbled upon this catalog last night as I was researching for afamwilsonnc.com. As I scanned the list of students, I was stunned to see W.S. Hagans of Fremont, Wayne County. This is William S. Hagans, son of Napoleon and Appie Ward Hagans, and first cousin to my great-great-grandmother Louvicey Artis Aldridge (1865-1927.) William graduated from Howard University’s preparatory division in 1889 and went on to obtain bachelor’s and a law degree from Howard. Apparently, however, he spent at least a year of high school in Fayetteville, a little closer to home. A few months ago, I would have immediately picked up the phone to share this new information with my cousin Bill, William’s grandson. Bill is gone though, so I’ll just have to imagine his warm laugh and exclamations of surprise.

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Catalogue found here.

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Education, North Carolina, Photographs

Spaulding remembers.

Last night, the C.C. Spaulding High School Class of 1965 honored my father at their 50th reunion banquet. He began his coaching and teaching career at this little school in Spring Hope, North Carolina, newly married and fresh out of Saint Augustine’s College. Seven years past Brown v. Board of Education, Nash County schools were still segregated, and the children of Spaulding were mostly from struggling farm families. Neither slender resources at home nor paltry county funding could tamp down a spirit of camaraderie and pride in achievement that lasts even to this day.  Occasionally, when I’m home, we will run into one of my father’s old students or players — now in their late 60s — and they always beam to see him, the first of generations of young men and women who benefitted from his tough, but unstinting, guidance.

I took these photos of Spaulding’s gymnasium on a road ramble in November 2011. The school, now a community center, still anchors little Spring Hope. I have no independent memory of Spaulding — my father left for Rocky Mount City Schools in the late ’60s — but I was cradled there. My mother tells me that, at basketball games, teenaged girls would volunteer to change my diaper while she cheered the team on. The class of ’65 was the first to know me, and I thank them.

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Little has changed.

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Spaulding High School Class of 1965.

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