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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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African-American Education in Kansas City, Kansas - 1930-1956

This represents a copy of the manuscript as it was presented, including terminology used at the time of the writing.  All attempts have been made to reproduce the spelling, capitalization and layout of the original book as much as possible.  In some cases, "annotations" or "Internet links" have been provided to the original works by the transcriber of the manuscript.

NOTE:  When reading this works, please remember that addresses change over the year, depending on annexing, mergers, boundary changes, and other happenings.  The addresses referred to in this works may or may not be the same as in old records.  (Example:  What today is known as State Avenue, was Kansas Avenue prior to the Consolidation Act of 1886.)

Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

Following are excerpts from The History of the Kansas City, Kansas Public School System, 1819-1961 by Nellie McGuinn.  Nellie McGuinn was a public school educator in Kansas City, Kansas, who (in February of 1966) presented this history of the KCKs public school system to USD 500 in answer to a request from Superintendent Frank L. Schlagle. Her manuscript takes a good look at the settlement and growth of Kansas City and Wyandotte County, Kansas, incorporating the history of our schools.  The history written by Ms. McGuinn has been used for information on the individual school buildings throughout our web site, the information being presented in a chronological manner.  However, the manuscript (in its entirety) will be placed at this location.  We are grateful to Ms. McGuinn for her contribution to the future . . . "our written history".

Please remember that these are excerpts.  They are not, nor are they intended to be, a total picture of the African American community in the Kansas City, Kansas Public School System.    For a more complete history, it is recommended that you read all of the pages at this site.

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Before 1900

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Before 1930

1932:  Weekday church schools grew under the direction of Mrs. Ethel Higby.  Religious Education Week, observed in September, brought praise to Mrs. Higby for the success of the Negro church schools.

1947:  Although in 1947 no Booker T. Washington was among the names here, colored students at Sumner welcomed a visit from the daughter of the famous educator of Tuskegee, Alabama.  Mrs. Portia Washington Pittman addressed the student body on October 4.  She was promoting the sale of fifty-cent commemorative pieces in honor of her father.

1954:  On May 17, 1954, the Board of Education was meeting in the library building when word came that the Supreme Court had declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.  The board was able to conduct business as usual, for plans had already been made toward integration.  Additions to buildings likely to be affected by the ruling were already under way.

Sumner students had the choice of continuing there or attending the high school in their district.  Accommodations at the junior high schools were limited.  Wherever possible, pupils were permitted to go to the nearest school.  If few colored were in the elementary school district, these pupils were given the option of attending a colored school or formerly white school.

1956:  Grant moved about the middle of February to its new building at 1510 North 4th Street.  At the dedication on May 1, Dr. W. Lewis, director of colored elementary schools, was the speaker.  T. Roosevelt Butler presented the flag given by Everett Scrivner.  Alonzo Plough was the principal.

Schools in KCKs in the Years of Change, 1962-1986,
by Dr. O. L. Plucker, Superintendent Emeritus, written 1986

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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