|Alice Dugged Cary, Educator and Social Activist
? - 1941
|Cast bronze relief sculpture, unique, height=27"
Commissioned by the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta (CODA)
|To be Free to Soar
"A native of Indiana, Alice Dugged had an impressive educational experience:
Wilberforce University, the University of Chicago, Howard University, Clark College and Morris Brown College. In 1885 Alice Dugged married
Jefferson Cary and the couple moved to Atlanta. Cary became the first female principal of the Mitchell Street School and served as the
principal of the Normal Department (the education department) of Morris Brown. She led a successful battle to open an Atlanta public library
to African Americans and, in 1921, became the first librarian of the Carnegie Library.
Alice Dugged Cary played an instrumental
role in the women's club movement. Her affiliations included the Georgia Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, the local YMCA board, the State
Temperance Union, the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society, and Zeta Phi Beta sorority. She died in 1941 on the campus of Morris Brown
College, where she had served as both a faculty member and an administrator." *
Alice Dugged Cary's resume does little to reveal the forces
that shaped her personality. However, this much is certain: She was an intimidating intellectual powerhouse with a love for learning that
was matched only by the dimensions of her ego. Described as a "grand old lady of the South", Cary had a definite sense of style and fashion.
To Alice Dugged Cary, there was no station in life more dignified than that of "educator", no sound more exquisite than the spoken word,
and no monument more durable than ideas and books. She didn't just read books, she had relationships with books, even the simplest of them.
During her days at the library on Auburn Avenue, Alice Dugged Cary's favorite children were inspired to leave with seven books, one for each
day of the week. To Cary, the freedom to soar had its basis in a formal education and a love of learning. To those who knew her well, Alice Dugged Cary
had a surprisingly acute sense of humor that seldom affected her perpetual look of sternness and rigidity, revealing itself only as an
unpredictable twinkle in her eyes.
|*Taken directly from the bronze plaque provided by CODA, 1996
|Alice Dugged Cary is one of four historic bronze
relief sculptures by Brian R. Owens that are permanently installed at various points on Auburn Avenue in downtown Atlanta, not far from the Martin Luther
King Center for Nonviolent Change.