Carrie Martin High School, Plain Dealing, Louisiana, Bossier Parish

Carrie Martin High School, Plain Dealing, Louisiana, Bossier Parish, had a historical path  similar to other African American high schools in Louisiana where the founder,in this case Mary Eliza Burns, was not recognized for her contributions at the level of naming the school. The school ran the usual gauntlet of oppression of the African American student body in its quest for equality in the desegregation-integration cycle. The story is compelling with an origin in religious conviction, legal remedy and perseverance triumphing over the status quo.

St. Matthew’s High School added to Significant Notes

St. Matthew’s High School of Melrose, LA is the latest entry to the Significant Notes section of the site.

St. Matthews High School of Natchitoches Parish was the first public high school building constructed for African Americans in Lower Natchitoches Parish.  When it opened in 1952, it was one of two public senior high schools for African Americans in the Natchitoches Parish.  This entry from the National Register of Historic Places shows the growth of the school from a “church school” serving elementary schools in 1916, until its growth to a full fledged high school in 1952.

Despite the name, St. Matthew’s was a public school with its original classes held in the church.  

St. Matthews High School discontinued in 1989. 

W.O. Boston History Added

W. O. Boston

The history for the W.O. Boston High School Panthers has been added to the website. Previously, we only had pictures from McNeese University.  William Oscar Boston founded what was called the “First Ward Colored School” in 1907. In 1983, it merged with the Lake Charles High School and became the Lake Charles-Boston High School.

H.C. Ross High School Rams of Crowley, Louisiana

Ram We have added information and pictures from H.C. Ross High School of Crowley Louisiana. H.C. Ross was named after the school’s first teacher/principal, Henry Clay Ross. The school was built in 1887 and lasted until desegregation in 1970. The link contains pictures from as far back as the 7th grade and the graduation class of 1930.  1965 was a good year on the basketball court. Check out the H.C. Ross link to see why!!!

Plaisance High School, Plaisance, Louisiana, St. Landry Parish

Plaisance High 2Plaisance High School, Plaisance, Louisiana, St. Landry Parish stands as a testament to the the resilience of a community and the drive of a man who could not be deterred from his goal of educating the African American community. His story is compelling and his faith and achievement  provide a lasting impression on all who dare read his story, the story of the origin of Plaisance High School. Please see the school in the Significant Notes Section.

Creation, Reconstruction, and Desegregation – Paul Breaux High School – Lafayette, La

TigerIn the Significant Notes Section:  “The Black Side of Desegregation: The History of Paul Breaux High School”

On February 4th, 1982,  Louisiana Public Broadcasting presented an episode of “Folks” featuring Sharon Elizabeth’s Sexton’s documentary about the history of Paul Breaux High School in Lafayette Parish. “The Black Side of Desegregation: The History of Paul Breaux High School” Part I details everything from the opening of the school by Paul Breaux in 1989 until desegregation in 1970.  Part II details the immediate effects of desegregation on the African American Community in Lafayette as the county enforced integration. The documentary reminds the viewer various controversies construction of the second school. It also tells the viewer that desegregation was not merely as simple as placing African American people together with Caucasian people. 


Plaisance High School – 1 of the 2 Last Remaining Rosenwald Schools in Louisiana

Plaisance High 2We have added Plaisance High School to the SIGNIFICANT NOTES SECTION.  Plaisance High School of Opelousas, LA was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It is the only Rosenwald School in the state of Louisiana in its original location. The other remaining school in Davidsonville was moved there. Plaisance High School was consolidated into North West High School on June 30th 1991 and is now known as Plaisance Elementary School. Opelousas students from fifth to eighth grade are taking classes in the historical classrooms.  


Cohn High School – Only High School in West Baton Rouge Parish added to Significant Notes

Cohn High School has been added to the Significant Notes portion of the site.

Cohn High School in Port Allen, Louisiana was the only African American High School in West Baton Rouge Parish.  It ran from 1949-1969. Prior to its opening, West Baton Rouge Parish’s African American children attended school for grades 1-8 at The Port Allen Colored School. After eighth grade, students had to stay with family or strangers in Iberville Parish or Baton Rouge City. The establishment of Cohn High School enabled the African American youth to attend college and contribute to the education and development of Port Allen. Cohn High School closed due to integration in 1969. Despite the efforts of the Alumni Association, the school was demolished in 2014 due to its condition.

The West Baton Rouge Museum commemorated the school with a special exhibit from February – March 2016. The exhibition received an Award of Merit on September 16, 2016. 

Recent news:

WBR Museum receives national award for exhibition.