Second Louisiana All-State High School Biographical Annual Review

HISTORY
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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.

Southern University’s 51st Anniversary

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Southern University is significant in Louisiana history because it provided an avenue of higher education attainment for many African Americans who would not have had the opportunity due to segregation of the races. The State Legislative Act 87 incorporated the institution. Its doors opened in March 7, 1881 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The University existed there until Legislative Act 118  closed the New Orleans location and established a new Campus on Scott’s Bluff in Baton Rouge. The original charter was retained.

The March 9, 1965 edition of the Southern University Digest was dedicated to the history of Southern University after its move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1914. An interesting editorial questioned the exclusion of thirty-years from its existence. The entire newspaper was presented to let the reader get a situational glimpse of the facilities, the Vietnam-era times and our thoughts at that time.

Interestingly, Southern University provided the inspiration for competition for  African American High Schools in the state. The Louisiana Interscholastic Athletic and Literary Association (LIALO, LIALA) was established in 1928 to bridge the gap for African American students in secondary schools so their success could be realized. The Significant Notes, History Section on this website contains a Southern University Digest publication, March 9, 1965, Number 11.  A detailed history of Southern University can be found.

 

Louisiana High School Desegregation Cases

Louisiana Parishes and School Boards have had to deal with school desegregation cases since 1952, when John Hall submitted a case against the St. Helena Parish School board. This case was finally closed this past March 2018, when St. Helena Parish School board achieved its “unitary status”. We have a “Parish Desegregation Status Matrix” from Tulane University’s Cowen Institute For Public Education Initiatives which shows the status of the cases in August 2010. We also have information on a few parishes who have achieved the goal of “unitary status” since the Matrix was built.  The court cases are the beginning of the end for most of the African American High Schools in Louisiana.  The desegregation case section can be found in the HISTORY section of the SIGNIFICANT NOTES.