From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Childers, Lulu Vere

(born: February 28, 1870  -  died: March 6, 1946) 

Lulu Vere Childers was born in Dry Ridge, KY. She left Kentucky with her family when she was a child. As a college student at Oberlin, she performed with the Eckstein-Norton Muisc Company that had been developed by Harriett Gibbs Marshall. EckStein-Norton was an African American school in Cane Spring, KY. The performances by the quartet helped to raise money for the music department at Eckstein-Norton.

Lulu V. Childers studied voice at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she earned her B. Mus. degree. She taught at Knoxville College in 1896. She continued to perform, singing contralto in a 1908 concert organized by E. Azalia Hackley at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. She went on to become founder and director of the Howard University School of Music [now Department of Music], 1909-1942. She accomplished major successes with the Howard Orchestra, Band, Choral Society, Women's Glee Club and Men's Glee Club. Lulu Vere Childers Hall is located in the Arts Building at Howard University.

Lulu Vere Childers was a good friend of Marion Anderson. Childers was the director of the Howard School of Music Concert Series Committee when the group invited Marion Anderson to come to Washington, D.C. to sing. Constitution Hall was the only facility that would be large enough for the expected attendance. When Anderson was denied the opportunity to perform before an integrated audience in Constitution Hall, the Howard School of Music Concert Series Committee, led by Lulu V. Childers, sought to sponsor the concert in the auditorium of Central High School in Washington, D. C. That too was a fight that became a public matter discussed in U.S. newspapers. When all was said and done, Marion Anderson performed an open-air concert on the steps of Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939. 

For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; Catalogue of Officers and Graduates, by Oberlin College (1905) [full view available via Google Book Search]; A History of Three African-American Women Who Made Important Contributions to Music Education Between 1903-1960 (thesis) by D. R. Patterson; "Howard Univ. and citizens committee refused to be bound by Washington School Board," The Dayton Forum, 03/17/1939, p.4; and see Marion Anderson: musical icon at

Kentucky County & Region

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Read about Bullitt County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Dry Ridge, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Cane Spring, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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“Childers, Lulu Vere,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-09-06 12:02:36