The Mather School was innovative and daring for its time.
In the late 1930's, my grandfather Norvel Daniel was proud to be the superintendent of The Mather School for Colored Girls, which aspired to give young Black women the same quality education as whites. My grandmother Neva Daniel also taught at the school.
My mother used to recall how her family was expected to use the colored facilities because of their work, and I know that inequality made a big impression on her as a child.
Norvel, my grandfather, loved songs and singing. He became fascinated with the students' songs and tried to collect them. After all, this is where Kumbaya came from.
I regularly sing Kumbaya when playing harp in the nursing home where my mom died and every time I do, I think of what it was that Norvel Daniel tried to preserve here.
Here are all the materials I could find from his scholarly notes on the subject. I've tried to share these with anyone who is interested. I was gratified that The Smithsonian's African American History Museum and the Mather Museum in SC. were happy to receive copies of these pages.
Here are some student papers, along with Norvel's notes on their songs and games. Some of the student papers just have a signature. I would love to learn the life journeys of these students.
"Here we are in front of Coleman Hall which houses the dining room and the girls' dormitory" (on back). My grandparents Neva and Norvel Daniel plus (left) my late mom, Judy Ann (Daniel) Wadyko plus her sister, my late aunt Sharon Daniel.
My grandparents with "Miss Kent" and the little girl is my late Aunt Sharon Daniel
This document above has my mom's name on it! (Judy Ann Daniel) I love to think that she was in a school production with the Mather students.
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