The Roneagle Chanters-1932

The Roneagle Chanters- 1932

The Glee Club-1932

(Names listed in alphabetical order)

Samuel Barnes/ Elliott Beal/ Edgar Beecham/ Louis Bland/ Henry Bowser/ Levie Buckhalter/ Pellam  Calhoun/ Wilber Cato/ Louis Diaz/ Peter Edmund/  Altemus Gardette/ Earl Gaudin/ Wilfred Gougis/ Herman Graham/ Leroy Jackson/ Ulysses Jupiter/ Harry Lewis/ Marcus Lyons/ Oliver Marcell/ Ferdinand McKenzie/ Charles Perkins/ Alfred Randall/ Price Rogers/ Judge Riley/ Robert Sloan/ Richard Spooner/ Lawrence Sumler/ George Trinity/ Clarence Warren/ Henry Williams


Shown above are the names and photos of the thirty young men who were members of McDonogh #35’s Glee Club in 1932. The director, Mr. Osceola A. Blanchet, was not only a Chemistry teacher but also the school’s vocal and instrumental music instructor as well as a founding member of the city’s most prestigious male vocal harmony group, the Osceola Five. The Glee Club sang at special school programs, graduation exercises, and church functions. They also served as the male background for the two operettas presented each year.

In the year 1932, many factors influenced the lives of these young men. The Great Depression was now in its third year. Hard times were experienced by people throughout the country, especially blacks residing in the rural areas. As cotton prices plunged, two thirds of some two million black farmers earned nothing or went into debt. Hundreds of thousands of share croppers left the land for the cities, leaving behind abandoned fields and homes. So called “Negro jobs”  in the city, such as busboys, elevator operators, garbage men, maids, porters, cooks, etc. were sought by desperate unemployed white males.

The Ku Klux Klan, through intimidation and terror, was a major threat as lynchings were being reported in the daily news.  Jim Crow Laws throughout the South continued to deprive people of color from exercising their basic rights as American citizens.

In spite of it all, the young men shown above  looked forward to a better future. They were taught that character, not circumstances, will determine the person you will become and that success in life is measured by the obstacles one overcomes while trying to succeed.  One has only to look at the above photo to see the self-confidence, pride, determination and dignity that radiates from this collective group. This is shown through their posture, clothing attire and facial expressions…a lesson many young men of today are in desperate need of learning.

If any of you are related to those pictured above, please let us know. We would really appreciate finding out just where in the photo each one is sitting or standing.

Sources: The Roneagle 1932, McDonogh #35 Yearbook (personal possession)


3 thoughts on “The Roneagle Chanters-1932

  1. We have a cousin listed in this photo, will share with more info.
    Thanks so much for listing!!
    The school’s yr book also have photos of the other grades/yrs attending
    the school or only the grads for that year?

  2. I came across this site thru another Creole website on a family members home page. I read the ensuing article in The Roneagle Chanters – 1932, and before I married my last name was Perkins, as was my father’s and his etc. etc. I am the first generation in my immediate family born outside New Orleans. Unfortunately I do not have as thorough a history of my grandfather’s side of the family tree. For three generations before me the paternal side of my family was named Jay N Perkins. Of which my father was the 3rd. I have no knowledge of his father having male siblings or uncles. To wit, any intelligence you might offer would be appreciated. My grandfather passed in 98′ and my father in 2011.

    Cordially Yours,
    M.L. Dixon

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