1951 marked the beginning of the Booker T. Washington High School Era. Central Colored High School, 1918, was replaced with a new facility. The administration and students all transferred to their new den . The Lion, the 1951 Year Book from the newly designed and erected school was the first edition. The Lions had much to roar about and they commenced to make sounds across the regional and national landscapes. They arrived with much fanfare and they have endured until today.
Booker T. Washington High School, Shreveport, Louisiana Booker T. Washington High School was iconic, not only for African American high schools ,but, for all American high schools. The school’s architecture bridged the gap from the previous architecture and technologically the school soared. The Lions were positioned at the top of the hill. Their history is compelling, their exploits are sources of admiration and pride for the state of Louisiana. The Lions are still on the prowl today.
The story of two schools, one in New Orleans, the other in Shreveport, the story of two Lion siblings caught at the crossroads of migration and integration, the dreams of two men, Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, came to fruition in an enormous way. Both were successes. The Lions in New Orleans were established in 1942. Many accomplished artisans in a wide range of fields walked through its hallways with the world at its door steps. The Lions dared to take the step and the rest is history. Part of their development can be glimpsed by viewing the Lion’s lair. Three yearbooks from the early to mid-1950’s are displayed to show their origins and their prowess.
Central Colored High School, Shreveport, Louisiana, Caddo Parish was a victim of planned obsolescence, as evidenced by its name. Its doors were opened in 1917, however, the true impact of its place in Louisiana African American high school history was not realized, perhaps, because 12th grade was not offered until 1949, one year before its closure. Rising from the Central Colored High School’s ashes like a phoenix, Booker T. Washington High School was the capable successor. Central Colored High School, a shadow of itself during its days of glory, stands in the United States Registry of Historic Places.