Many schools from Maryland to Texas were known as “Rosenwald Schools”. In 1919, Booker T. Washington partnered with Julius Rosenwald to eventually build more 5357 buildings in 15 states. Most of the buildings were schools. Workshops and teachers homes also received funding. The first Rosenwald school was constructed in Louisiana in 1916. When the Rosenwald grants ended in 1932, a quarter of the rural African American schools in the country were Rosenwald Schools. A small percentage of the 435 Rosenwald Schools remain. From CREOLEGEN
On February 4th, 1982, Louisiana Public Broadcasting presented an episode of the series “Folks” featuring Sharon Elizabeth’s Sexton documentary about the history of Paul Breaux High School in Lafayette, Parish. Part I details everything from the school opening in 1896 until the decision to close Paul Breaux High School after desegregation. Part II details the effects of desegregation of the African American Community in Lafayette.
Part I Part II
Louisiana Interscholastic Association Literary Organization (LIALO)
Prior to 1935, Louisiana did not have an organized STATE program of interscholastic activities for African American high school boys and girls. It took the vision of Dr. Joseph Samuel Clark, then the President of Southern University to form a state interscholastic competition. This is the story of the LIALO..
St. Augustine v. Louisiana High Schools Activities Association (LHSAA)
On August 14th, 1964, St. Augustine High School was the first school to apply to become a part of the LHSAA, the athletic association for Caucasians. It was rejected. The ensuing legal battle and victory would not only change the future of sports in Louisiana but have national effects as well. From the Sports Lawyers Journal…
National Register of Historic Places
TROUT-GOOD PINE SCHOOL
Here is the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Trout-Good Pine School submitted in April 1999. It contains the school’s history as well as photos. Trout-Good Pine School is the only remaining historic school in LaSalle Parish and was built to replace the school lost in a fire caused by lightning on June 27, 1937.
JOHN S. DAWSON HIGH SCHOOL
This application was submitted in April 2015. Dawson High closed in 1969 after the Carter v. West Feliciana Parish School Board, which mandated all of West Feliciana Parishes schools be desegregated by February 1, 1970. It was the epicenter for African American education during its time.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
This application to the National Register of Historic Places was sent in April 2015. This high school was noted for its state of the art construction. While various additions have been placed on the original building, the original building has maintained its structural integrity.
BETHUNE JR-SR HIGH SCHOOL
Bethune Jr-Sr High School opened in September 1961 placing it squarely between Brown v. Topeka Board of Education and the desegregation of schools in Shreveport in 1970. This was a period of educational transition as African American students moved from rural and small city schools to modern schools in the Shreveport area. Bethune Jr-Sr High School is now named Oak Park Elementary Middle School. Despite the change in school’s mission, much of the original structure of the school remains making this school eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The large amount of photographs enables the viewers to imagine themselves walking the hallways of the school.
COHN HIGH SCHOOL
Cohn High School of Port Allen, Louisiana was the only African American High School in West Baton Rouge Parish. 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 in order to receive a high school education. Most families were unable attended high school. 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 ran from the fall of 1949 until the onset of integration in 1969. It was demolished in 2014 due to its deteriorating condition. Below is a video from the West Baton Rouge Museum, which commemorated the school with a special exhibit from February – March 2016. PHOTOS
PLAISANCE HIGH SCHOOL
Plaisance High School of Opelousas, Louisiana is the only Rosenwald School in the state, in its original location, being used for its original purpose. Plaisance was constructed in 1920 and was historically rare. Most of the other Rosenwald schools were demolished or incorporated as part of a larger modern structure. Plaisance High School was consolidated into North West High School on June 30th, 1991 and is now known as Plaisance Elementary School. Opelousas students attend the school from fifth to eighth grade. The mascot is still the Indians. PHOTOS
ST. MATTHEW’S HIGH SCHOOL
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. The other high school, Central High School was located 25 miles away from St. Matthews. Students from St. Matthews Junior High had to transfer to Central High School in order to receive a high school education. 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. St. Matthews High School discontinued in 1989. The St. Matthew School Community Association, Inc. was formed with the intention of converting the school into a community center.
PHOTOS OF ST.MATTHEWS