Bernadette Whitsett Hammond

Bernadette Whitsett Hammond: I took private piano lessons from Mr. Robert Smith.  He was a well-known musician in the area.  I think he was the former organist of the University Baptist Church.  My sister and my cousin [Ramona?] took from him as well.  He was one of the first, I would say, white musicians who offered to teach African American children.  He would teach lessons at the old Zion Union Baptist Church across the street from Jefferson, and children would be allowed to go over there, take a half an hour lesson, and return back to school.  So, yes, that was something I didn’t have to do because I had a piano in my home, so he would come to my home, or we’d come to his office down here in the downtown area.