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Manet Harrison Fowler papers

Identifier: MS-0615

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Scope and Contents

An archive of letters, notes, documents, research papers, and ephemera handwritten by or to noted Black American activist, educator, and performance artist, Manet Harrison Fowler spanning 1933-1973.

The collection includes a 1954 original letter to Tuskegee Institute/University President, Dr. Luther Hilton Foster from Fowler, a lauded Tuskegee alum. The 4 page letter is handwritten, signed and addressed to the then president of Tuskegee Institute Dr. Luther Hilton Foster and requests specific assistance from the Tuskegee Institute President for research information about Booker T. Washington for use in developing educational programs for African American schools using actual historical documentation from the Tuskegee archives. The letter describes the prospectus of the education project that Manet Harrison Fowler is creating to benefit the historical significance of Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee Institute, and the importance of educating Black Americans and the world regarding Negro studies, growth and development.

The other contents, in brief: (1) Letter: 1953. Addressed to 'Dearest Alay'. Contents personal, mentions she is a member of Baptist Church and some genealogy info. (2) Letter on letterhead of Mrs. Preston Valien (her sister-in-law Dr. Bonita Valien). Addressed to 'Dearest Alay'. Contents personal, signed 'Baby sister'. (3) Letter: dated without year. Addressed to 'Dear L.A', signed 'Jessie'. Contents personal. (4) Letter: c.1933. Addressed to Manet, signed 'Corrine'. Mentions 'Great fair in your city' (presumed to be World's Fair in Chicago, 1933). In part: 'A fair can bring the attractive countries we may not see, customs & ideas'. (5) Handwritten note: July 1962. Addressed to 'Dearest Alay'. Discusses family travels, Nigeria/Africa, teaching at Columbia University and graduate school, working with Nigerian women in Leadership Training Program at Columbia as professorship. (6) Letter: November 30 1966. Addressed to 'Dearest Alay'. Notes research material, collected in Nashville. Signed 'Baby sister' and 'Preston joins me in love to you'. (7) Letter: August 3 1966. Addressed to 'Dearest Alay'. Personal family interest content, asks 'what is project at this time' (reference to Manet Harrison Fowler's development of the Mwalimu School--a Negro music, dance, art, school created by Manet Harrison Fowler). (8) Research Paper: HALL JOHNSON AND THE SPIRITUAL, THE MAN AND HIS FORGOTTEN MUSIC by student Gregory Hayman, subject taught by Folwer, "Black Music" dated 1973. Kept by Fowler in her personal papers. 17 pages with bibliography and notes, appears to be mimeographed. (9) Research Paper: on Billie Holiday, with published photographs, by student Marvin Wilson, 18+ pages of laid-in photographs from magazines of the era. (10) Other ephemera: 1956 Brooklyn Law School Commencement Exercises Program; Satruday Review Magazine 1955--Black Interest Articles, McCarthyism, etc.; 1956 NAIRO (National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials Philadelphia) program noting events--Intergroup Relations Official, Intercultural Relations, Non-Discriminating Firsts in Housing, Problems of Non-Whites in Housing including Negro and Hispanic races; PHI DELTA KAPPA Invitation--paper flyer invitation noting award to Dr. Bonia Valien who was married to Preson Valien, brother of Manet Harrison Fowler.


  • Creation: 1933-1973


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed at the George Peabody Library. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Manet Harrison Fowler (1895-1976) was an African American musician and educator from Fort Worth, Texas. She graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in 1913 and studied at the Chicago College of Music. She taught at Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College and became one of the first directors of the Mt. Gilead choir and president of the Texas Association of Negro Musicians. In June 1928 Fowler founded the Mwalimu School in Texas, which she later relocated to Harlem in New York City. The school was an active participant in the Harlem Renaissance, emphasizing African culture and language, and included an impressive staff of well-known African and African American educators, authors, musicians, and artists, including Hall Johnson, Carter G. Woodson, Winifred Hall Allen, and John Scott.

Manet Harrison Fowler developed many programs to benefit the Black communities and Black youth. Her works are considered valuable to the development and encouragement of African American growth and contribution to the world.

Manet Harrison Fowler was the wife of Stephen Hamilton Fowler. They had five children: Manet Helen (b. 1916), Stephen Hamilton (b. 1918), George Harrison (b. 1920), Carroll Lacy (b. 1924), and Rosemarie Fowler (b. 1927).


0.167 Cubic Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials



An archive of letters, notes, documents, research papers, and ephemera handwritten by or to noted Black American activist, educator, and performance artist, Manet Harrison Fowler spanning 1933-1973.


Letters: each letter in its own folder; arranged chronologically Research papers: each paper in its own folder; arranged chronologically Ephemera: each item in its own folder; arranged chronologically

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased in January 2013.

Processing Information

This is no known processing information for this collection.

Manet Harrison Fowler papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA