Townsend, Willa Ann Hadley. b. Nashville, Tennessee, 22 April 1880; d. Nashville, 24 April 1947. A Black educator devoted to improving the lives of African Americans, she was a civic leader, church musician, and editor/compiler of three influential Black collections of hymns, gospel songs, and African American spirituals*.
The daughter of Samuel Porterfield Hadley (1849–1905) and Mary Hadley, she received her education in the Nashville Public Schools, Fisk University, Nashville, Roger Williams University (a postbellum Black school established as the Nashville Normal and Theological Institute), and Northwestern University, Chicago. Additionally, she received a degree in religious education...
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