Hattie D. McKay
Hattie Delia Law was born in Trousdale County, Tennessee to the late William Harvey Law and Christina “Tina” Mitchell Law. She was the youngest of six children. Early in her life, she was referred to as “Peggy”, a name that she would be called by her parents, siblings, nephews, nieces and many friends.
Hattie attended school in Trousdale County, completing grades first through eighth.
As there was no high school for African American students in Trousdale County at that time, she was given parental consent to live with relatives in Nashville to further her education at Washington Jr. High School and Pearl Senior High School. In her early years of high school, she was introduced to the love of her life, Kenneth McKay. They dated through high school and college. In her later years of high school, she was inspired by her English teacher, Mrs. Mildred Hale Freeman, to continue her studies at university to become a professional in a chosen field.
Following the advice and encouragement provided by Mrs. Freeman, Hattie enrolled at Tennessee A and I State University, now Tennessee State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with additional studies in Library Service. On June 10, 1952, just eight days after her graduation from Tennessee State University, Hattie and Kenneth married. (They would be blessed to enjoy their marital union for sixty-five years.)
At the time of their nuptials, Kenneth was a soldier in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. Hattie was able to obtain employment as a librarian at Lemon Street High School in Marietta, Georgia. Marietta was as close as she could get to her new husband’s military assignment. Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Kenneth joined her in the employ of the Marietta Independent Public School System. Their tenure in that school system spanned almost two decades.
While residents of Marietta, they celebrated the birth of their daughter, Michelle.
To better secure their jobs and increase their earning potential, they both enrolled in graduate school at Atlanta University. They later made the decision to transfer their credits to universities in Nashville. Hattie enrolled at George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University. She successfully completed requirements for a Masters degree in Library Science, in 1965.
During the summer of 1969, Hattie persuaded Kenneth to return their family to Nashville, to be close to their aging parents.
Upon their return, they were hired into the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System where they worked until their retirement in 1992.
Throughout her life, Hattie made service to God her priority. During her childhood and young adult years, she worshipped and held membership at Christian Methodist Episcopal churches in Trousdale County, Nashville and Marietta.
With the desire to foster family unity in worship, she became a member at Zion Baptist Church in Marietta where Kenneth was already a member.
When she relocated to Nashville, she joined Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church.
After Kenneth’s death in 2017, Hattie moved to Rhode Island to live with Michelle and her family. And then in the fall of 2022, Hattie accompanied Michelle and her family in their move to South Carolina; the state where she had hoped to live as a newlywed, while her husband served his country.
During her lifetime, Hattie enjoyed church related services and membership in the following professional, social and community organizations:
Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church-
Treasurer of Missionary Circle#6
Secretary of S. H. Johnson Bible Class #3
Member of the Ladies Aid Society
Served on the Board of Christian Education
Organized the Erma H. Parker Memorial Library
Acquired and accessioned the Howard Thurman Collection (paperback editions with the help of Dr. Frederick G. Sampson, II)
Organized the Oral History library, recorded on cassette tapes
Assistant Reference Librarian- Trevor Arnett Library- Atlanta University (Graduate School Assignment)
Public School Librarian for 40 years- serving elementary and high school students in both the Marietta Independent School System and Metropolitan Nashville Public School System.
Social, Professional and Community Affiliations and Services-
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated- (Alpha Psi Chapter, Alpha Delta Omega Chapter- Life Membership)
Phi Delta Kappa International Fraternity – TSU Chapter
Tennessee State University Alumni Association
Metro Nashville Retired Teachers Association
Tennessee Education Association (Retired)
National Education Association (Retired)
Volunteer with the American Diabetes Association