Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: Winter 2006 Volume 43 Number 1, Page 9

The Homegoing of Miss Mazie Hall

Roger D. Thorne

Page 9 - continued

In the African-American community, a death is often referred to as a “Homegoing.” A very special Homegoing occurred on January 1, 2006 with the passing of 103-year-old Miss Mazie Hall.

Miss Hall lived for much of her life in the primarily black Mount Pleasant section of Tredyffrin Township, and attended school in the Tredyffrin Easttown School District. She attended West Chester Normal School (now West Chester State University), where in 1924 she became one of its first black graduates. Miss Hall spent her life as a teacher, largely in the Camden School District, and was always an advocate for civil rights, especially with regards to equal housing opportunities on the Main Line.

It was in 1932 that the Tredyffrin and Easttown school boards voted to segregate African-American grammar students into “special” schools. Most black parents responded to this segregation by withdrawing their children from classes until integration would be once again restored. Miss Hall stirred up great controversy with many of her African-American neighbors and colleagues by agreeing to become principal of the “blacks only” Mt. Pleasant School on Upper Gulph Road. While no one was more encouraging of the cause of civil rights, Miss Hall (in an interview with this writer in 2004) also felt that depriving a child of an education was also wrong. This brave woman withstood the snubs of many within her community for doing what she saw was right. Within a year the “school fight” had gained momentum, Miss Hall and her fellow black teachers were fired, and Miss Hall was forced to seek other opportunities. The school segregation case was settled and full integration was restored in 1934.

A collection of writings and other memorabilia to illuminate her extraordinary life is being prepared at Eastern University.


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