Mabel Blanks was born and grew up on a farm in Alabama. She did her homework by gaslight as there was no electricity on the farm. She excelled in high school and graduated college at Alabama State University in Montgomery. Mabel was part of the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King during the U.S. civil rights movement.
She taught in the Alabama public schools during segregation. When her sister who lived in Hudson, NY said Mabel might be able to find work at the NYS Training School for Girls, Mabel and her husband moved to Hudson. She worked as a teacher at the Training School for many years before moving elsewhere in the state prison system to teach.
Mabel now lives in Guyton, Georgia. On May 16th, 2015, Brian Buckley interviewed Mabel in Hudson, NY while she was attending activities in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Hudson, where she was Associate Pastor for many years.
In this excerpt from that oral history interview, Mabel describes her time teaching at the Training School.