Mary & Mac Private School

902 East 28th Street
Lubbock, TX 79401


In 1954, Lucille Graves established Mary & Mac Private School as a preschool for African-American students. Named for a version of the hand-clapping song “Mary Mack,” emphasizing aspirations for the students to become contributing members of society, the institution offered an alternative to local public schools in a time when private schools for African Americans were rare.
Teachers received permission from the Rev. A.L. Dunn to hold their first classes in the auditorium of New Hope Baptist Church, before soon moving to two small frame houses on the 1300 block of East 24th Street. Lucille Graves taught classes along with her husband, Caesar; other family members later joined as faculty, as Graves expanded school services. To meet the needs of the growing school, Caesar Graves and the Mary & Mac Parent-Teacher Association began to raise funds for a new building, and in 1961, the school moved to a newly constructed structure at 902 East 28th Street. Here, Mary & Mac began offering junior high and high school courses. The faculty often worked multiple positions to meet the expanding activities offered at the school.
At its peak, Mary & Mac Private School served a student population of approximately 120 students. Mary & Mac closed in 1993, shortly after Lucille Graves passed away. Besides her work with the school, Graves was noted for being the first African American accepted into Texas Tech; she later earned a doctorate from the Inter-Baptist Theological Center of Houston. Today, Dr. Graves is remembered for her activism and for Mary & Mac Private School, whose graduates have made significant contributions locally, regionally and throughout the nation.


Get our Visitor's Guide for all you need to know for your stay in Lubbock, Texas.

Download Now Request a Visitor’s Guide