GoErie.com: Harry T. Burleigh’s Mother Was Refused Work as a Teacher, Hired as Janitor

Harry T. Burleigh
(Harry T. Burleigh Society)

By the Editorial Board

March 31, 2019

Famed black composer Harry T. Burleigh’s mother, Elizabeth Lovey Waters, delivered her college commencement address in both English and French, but was refused work as a teacher at Erie Public School No. 1 in the late 19th century and hired as a janitor instead. The school district, as reporter Ed Palattella detailed, more than a century later still has not adequately integrated its teaching staff.