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

Hatchett, Hilary R., Jr.

(born: 1918  -  died: 1985) 

Hilary Rice Hatchett was born in Lexington, KY. His mother had died by 1930, and his father, Hilary Sr., was raising his three sons and worked 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 his 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. Hilary R. 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.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: A Study of current attitudes toward the Negro spiritual with a classification of 500 spirituals based on their religious content (thesis)
NKAA Source: Who's who in colored America: an illustrated biographical directory of notable living persons of African descent in the United States (1950)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hatchett, Hilary R., Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 25, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:26