Policy Change at the Peabody Institute: 1949-1955
Although Peabody had no official policies barring African-American students from enrolling, it was a long-standing rule that had always been in place without being discussed. Administrators referred to these rules as "policies" even though they were unwritten. With the exception of the "Colored Teachers' Class" in the 1920s and the Preparatory Branches in the early 1940s, there seemed to be no effort to engage African-American musicians in any way, much less to bring forward a discussion about accepting African-American students.
In the summer of 1949, however, Conservatory Director Reginald Stewart received a letter that changed all of this, serving as an impetus for a six year discussion among Peabody administration concerning Peabody's "unofficial" racist policies.