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

Hatchett, Hilary Rice, Jr.

(born: 1918  -  died: July 5, 1985

Hatchett was born in Lexington, KY. His mother had died by 1930, and his father, Hilary Sr., was raising three sons and working as a porter at a transfer station in Lexington. Hilary Jr., the oldest of the three boys, would go on to study at the Julliard School of Music [now The Julliard School], then was the director of the Negro soldier chorus, a concert band, and an opera theater during World War II in Sicily (1943).

Hatchett earned a master's degree for which he wrote his thesis A Study of Current Attitudes Toward the Negro Spiritual with a Classification of 500 Spirituals Based on Their Religious Content in 1946 at Ohio State University.

Hatchett was next the superintendent of music for the Colored schools in Greenville, SC, 1946-1948, and acting chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Savannah State College [now Savannah State University] beginning in 1948. He co-authored the Savannah State College Hymn.

Hatchett died July 5, 1985 and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery in New York, according to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites listing. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Savannah State College Hymn (about three pages down the .pdf).

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hatchett, Hilary Rice, Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-22 17:56:54