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This collection includes personal correspondence, newspaper clippings, poems, programs, & sheet music related to Eva Jessye and Joella Reid.

Eva Alberta Jessye was born in Coffeyville, Kansas on January 20, 1895. At age 13, she attended Western University in Quindaro, Kansas and graduated in 1914. In 1926 she formed a choral group in New York called the Dixie Jubilee Singers. This group would later become the world-renowned Eva Jessye Choir. They performed spirituals, work songs, ballads, ragtime, jazz, and light opera. Jessye was also the choral director for George Gershwin’s opera, Porgy and Bess. Eva was involved in many humanitarian efforts and the Civil Rights Movement. She served as Pittsburg State University’s Artist-In-Residence from 1978-1981. She passed away on February 21, 1992 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Publication Date



Education, Performing Arts, Social Life and Customs


Arts and Humanities

Size of Collection

.4 linear feet

Dates of Collection

1978-1980; 2011

Manuscript Number

SpC MS 0378

Reid, Joella, Collection, 1978–1980; 2011



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