Ernestine Burghes Saunders (1903–1995)
“My father gave me lessons in Greek and my grandfather had me reading Greek to him. My grandfather couldn’t read; he couldn’t write.”
“I get more joy out of singing spirituals. It gives you a message more than blues. I’m growing older, growing older in spirit, child. Closer to the Lord.”
Ernestine Burghes Saunders, born in Selma, Alabama, studied at Fisk University, Middlebury College, and the Sorbonne, “Arriving in France,” she remembered, “was like arriving in heaven.’ For more than forty years, she was a professor at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, and after retiring in 1971, she continued to live close to the campus and to attend services in the small Episcopal chapel.