Mary Frances Early

Mary Frances Early UGA Black African-American Graduate
University of Georgia / Twitter

Mary Frances Early is a trailblazer. While Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes were the first African-Americans admitted to University of Georgia as undergrads in 1961, Early was the first to graduate. She earned a master's degree in music education.

Last week, UGA announced an initiative to name its College of Education after Early. Last year, when UGA was celebrating 100 years of education groundbreaking women, On Second Thought spoke with Early about her experiences as the first African-American student to graduate from the Georgia college. We hear that conversation.

"On Second Thought" explored rural churches, political thrillers and the legacy of the first black graduate at the University of Georgia today.

Sonny Seals spoke about Georgia's history through rural churches. Seals co-produced GPB's docuseries, "Saving Grace" with George S. Hart. They also wrote "Historic Rural Churches of Georgia."

 

As voters prepare for the November election, political power grabs are in the national news. "Paper Gods: A Novel of Money, Race, and Politics" uncovers a conspiracy that reaches into the heart of Atlanta's political machine. We spoke with author and political strategist Goldie Taylor about her new political thriller.

Mary Frances Early UGA Black African-American Graduate
University of Georgia / Twitter

The first class of women graduated from the University of Georgia in 1918, one hundred years ago. Their resiliency changed higher education, but they were segregated.

 

UGA admitted the first black woman, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, in 1961. She inspired Mary Frances Early to attend the school a year later, and Early became the first black UGA graduate. She graduated in 1962 with a master's degree in music education.

 

We spoke to her about the barriers she faced in admission, the isolation of being the only black student on campus, and the way her legacy inspires students today.