The year 2018 in review…

Over the past year, the first full calendar year for the website, we have collected the histories of many of the African American High Schools in Louisiana. We collected and posted yearbooks for over 50 of the high schools of that time period and gave each school we posted a web page. For most of the schools, it was their first and only web page ever. In some cases we had an assortment of momentos and we posted those as well. We also made a map of where all of the schools from that time period are located.

That being said, the following schools have been viewed the most time over the past year….

The Chaneyville High School page has been viewed thousands of times, making it the most viewed school on the website.

We also expanded our coverage of the LIALO. We posted Newspaper articles from 1960s. We are currently working on a page for Coaching Pioneers. If you have any coaches you would like to honor from that time period, send them to us and we will post their stories.

Lastly, we expanded our coverage of the history the time period. All of the high schools in the National Register of Historic Places have been added. Reports on events that continue to have an effect on Louisiana have been added. We will continue to add more in 2019.

Work on the website is far from finished. While we have obtained pictures for most of the mascots, we may not have the history of those high schools. Please continue to provide us with those high school histories. Also note that the list of high schools may not be complete. Some of the smaller high schools throughout the state may not be listed. We would like to add the history of any of the African American High Schools that are not on the list. We would like to add history from that time period as well. Any newspaper articles or significant events regarding the High Schools you would like to add? Contact us and we will post it.

Many of our visitors have discovered the website through Facebook shares. The site has grown to the point where all you have to do to find the website is google “Louisiana African American High Schools” or something similar and our website will be near the top. You couldn’t do this January 2018.

Thanks to our viewership, this site is the largest collection of the history of African American High Schools in Louisiana and we would like to increase this collection in the 2019. We hope you continue to enjoy the site. Thank you very much to all the people who have spread the word about this website and please continue to spread the word.

Central High School, Calhoun, LA

Central High Mascot

Central High School, Calhoun, LA

Central High School began in a one-room building with a dirt floor in 1886. These humble beginnings marked the hope for the African American High school in Mineral Springs, Louisiana. Education for African Americans in Louisiana required sacrifice. Following the legacy of other African American schools, land was donated: additional land was matched by the Ouachita Parish School Board. The serpentine cheers in Calhoun were then heard from the Rattlers at Calhoun. They arrived with a bang and finally in 1970 the school was demoted to an elementary school. The Rattlers are part of the legacy of people who secured their future with personal sacrifice.

Pinecrest High School, Winnfield, LA

Pinecrest High School

Pinecrest High(1)

A classic description of how education for  African American youth  began is vividly detailed in  Winn Parish. A group of local churches formed the foundation for primary education. The Rosenwald Fund came to the aid of the African American community in May, 1929 establishing the Winn Training School. Over the ensuing  years new additions were made. Winn Training School endured until 1957 when a new facility was provided; this facility became Pinecrest High School. The Hornets continued to prosper until 1970.

Second Louisiana All-State High School Biographical Annual Review

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HISTORY

As the United States approached the end of World War II, there were nearly 60 African American  high schools scattered throughout the state of Louisiana. These high schools had the underpinnings of “Training School” and “Colored School” attached to their  names. As times passed  “Training School” was removed from most schools and all schools removed “Colored” from their names. After 1950 most of the new names of African American high schools were for local individuals  who made significant contributions to their communities or the names of prominent educators, politicians and philanthropists  on the national scene such as Joseph S. Clark, Charles P. Adams, Lord Beaconfield Landry, Booker T. Washington, Mary McCleod Bethune, George Washington Carver, President William McKinley, Julius Rosenwald and Carter G. Woodson. The list of names of schools and their namesake is quite extensive.

The Second Louisiana All-State High School Biographical Annual Review lists all of the African American high schools existing in Louisiana in 1944. This almost coincided with the termination of World War II. These schools were active in preparing the African American community for a period when each community would have its own school. This period began in the 1950’s when over 200 high schools were constructed  and extended to the late 1960’s when most of the African American high schools were closed.

Holy Ghost High School, Opelousas, LA

Holy Ghost.1


There was a uniqueness to Holy Ghost High School, a symbol hidden in clear daylight  for everyone to see. Their mascot, the Dove , symbolized peace , love, tranquility and the message. Mascots in other schools symbolized ferocity, lions, tigers, bears, dragons, eagles, rams, bulldogs and bloodhounds. 

The nuns arrived by horse drawn wagons in 1874 and they established the St. Joseph School. They  worked tirelessly to have a secondary school graduation in 1906 and a second graduation followed in 1913. Construction followed the good news with a new building  erected in 1914.

Holy Ghost High School grew out of a new parish developed in Opelousas for African Americans by the Diocese of Lafayette. The first graduation was in 1924.

A new building was erected in 1955 for the Doves.  Holy Ghost High School was merged with Academy of the Immaculate Conception in 1970. The new school became Opelousas Catholic School. The Doves and their accomplishments are a tribute to the horse -drawn wagons filled with nuns with a mission of peace, love and tranquility. The message survives and the Doves are remembered.

W. O. Boston High School, Lake Charles, LA

W. O. Boston

W. O. Boston High School was a fixture in the African American High School community; it endured into the early 1980’s. A thoughtful alumni decided to commemorate its graduates from its inception until its demise. We are elated to celebrate its legacy. The Panthers imprint has extended to the African American community nationwide. The Panthers leave their footprint upon this site as a shadow of all of its graduates who have wandered through its halls and classrooms. Panther-lore continues.

Audrey Memorial High School, Cameron, LA

Audrey Memorial mascot

An ominous event lead a community to a decision that the victims of a natural disaster, Hurricane Audrey, would not be forgotten. Audrey Memorial High School was born out of this tragedy; 500 people lost their lives. Dedicating a high school to such a catastrophic event made every student, the parish, the state and the country know the pain and despair experienced by this community.

The Audrey Memorial High School mascot was part of the same theme of catastrophe and rebirth as the mere presence of the mascot, Hurricanes,  reminded everyone about this historic event. The Hurricanes were well versed in tragedy. Finally, in 1970 the Hurricanes could not muster any more energy, the winds of time descended upon the school. Audrey Memorial High School and its symbolic name and mascot ceased to exist. They must never be forgotten. We understand the importance of remembering triumphs and catastrophes because they make us who we are.

LIALO Newspaper Articles 1970

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The LIALO was the North  Star for African American high schools. Future generations witnessed its demise as a “shooting star” across the Louisiana sky. Prior to 1970 St. Augustine was the sole member of the LHSAA( Louisiana High School Athletic Association). February , 1970, marked the admittance of 34 LIALO members into this organization. Needless to say, this admittance was the death knell for the LIALO. The LIALO became disenfranchised.

Meanwhile , competitions in the LIALO continued at a feverish pace. The last sign of a once proud and accomplished organization ended with the North-South Basketball Game. The South squad prevailed; we lost.

Combs-McIntyre High School, Oak Grove, LA

 

Combs-McIntyre 1

Combs-McIntyre High School, Oak Grove, LA

The Bears at Oak Grove, Louisiana awakened from hibernation in the early 20th Century with an appetite for enlightment. They desired education; they proactively addressed their situation. Discovering the Rosenwald Fund provided the impetus for a new relationship with the West Carroll Parish School Board and the African American community. April 3, 1956, marked the beginning of a goal set by all stake-holders for the new Combs-McIntyre High School.

The Bears were on the high school scene until 1969. Very much was accomplished since the awakening occurred. The Oak Grove community, Louisiana, and our country have prospered as a result of the brilliant decisions that lead to the creation of Combs-McIntyre High School. The Bears are part of our heritage and we invite them to help us tell their story.

 

 

Chaneyville High School, Zachary, LA

Chaneyville

Chaneyville High School by  Twentieth Century standards was considered a small school and one would not think they would have an impact upon this website. However, Dragons are known for their ambition and dominance seeking tendencies. Records are usually broken incrementally; The dragons disposed of the expected and soared to unimaginable heights. The Chaneyville High School Dragons delivered in a most dramatic fashion on September 29, 2018.  Previously  200 visitors in 24 hours was the bar for the most visitors  within 24 hours. An echo of amazement overshadowed this website on this date, 400 visitors and 650 views. Chaneyville High School accounted for 527 views. The  Dragons made us believe in the Dragons’ magical touch. Since that time there is  continuing interest in Dragon-lore on this site. We salute the Chaneyville High School Dragons for another golden record.