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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas




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African-American Education in Kansas City, Kansas

The African-American Community has a long history in Kansas City, Kansas.  We hope the following links will provide Internet web sites where you will find information on the history and culture.

The African-American Community has a long history in Kansas City, Kansas.  We hope the following links will provide Internet web sites where you will find information on the history and culture.

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Recommended Reading:  A History of Black Education in Kansas City, Kansas, Readin', 'Riting, 'Rithmetic by William W. Boone, March 1986 (Copy located in the KCKs Public Library, 625 Minnesota Ave, KCKs, 913-551-3280).  The school district is sincerely grateful to Mr. William W. Boone, Ms. Josephine C. Vandiver, and Mr. Jackson C. Van Trece for their research and preparation of this material.   (Check the Biographies Index on the site map at your left to view bios on these three people.)

"The information in this publication is a historical account of Black education in Kansas City, Kansas from the late 1800's to the present time, 1986.  Much of the early history is sketchy simply because accurate records concerning Blacks in this city were not maintained.  Valuable information was obtained from the files of the Board of Education, Kansas City, Kansas.  Interviews with Mr. S. H. Thompson, Jr., retired principal, Sumner High School, Mrs. Rozella K. Swisher retired social studies teacher, U.S.D. #500, Attorney Elmer C. Jackson, Jr., Dr. Bertram Caruthers, retired administrator and many others.

It was noted in various searches that Black children attended the following elementary schools:  Attucks, Bruce, Douglass, Dunbar, Grant, Garrison, Kealing, J. J. Lewis, Lincoln, Stowe, Booker T. Washington and the old Lincoln School.  [Annotation:  Lincoln School located at 6th and State Avenue]   Douglass and Grant schools are the only elementary schools in this group that exists today.  The old Kansas City Kansas High School, Sumner High School and Northeast Junior High School were known as schools on the secondary level where Black children attended.  Black students attended the Kansas City Kansas High School only in the afternoon.  The same was true for a time at the old Lincoln School.  Sumner and Northeast Junior High School were attended only by Black children or other ethnic groups if they lived with Black families.

Black students also attended the Vernon School and the Western University, however, these two institutions were not considered as a part of the Kansas City, Kansas school system.  These two schools will appear in this publication because of their close association with the Black schools in Kansas City, Kansas.  It is impossible to ignore their worth to the education scene.

This publication is high lighted by listing various job descriptions and names of some of the Black persons who were outstanding scholastically in the all Black schools.  In addition to this listing, resumes of outstanding families are listed.  It should be noted also, that every person and every family that was considered as outstanding could not be listed in this publication.  The names that appear on the list represent a random selection of names and families from a much larger list of achievers from the Black schools."

This represents a excerpt from the manuscript/book 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 manuscript/book as much as possible.

Disclaimer:  The written historical perspectives online at this web site, and web sites to which links are provided, reflect the view of the author(s)/(creator(s) which are protected under the rights of free speech; and do "not" necessarily reflect the views of the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education.

Copyright Notice: In keeping with the policy of providing free information on the Internet, this data may be used by non-commercial entities for research/information. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other gain. Printing for personal research use is encouraged, as long as this "copyright notice" is kept with the copy. Other use, including publication, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission by electronic, mechanical, or other means requires the written approval of the author(s) of this works.  

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USD 500 Schools

Armourdale School

Booker T. Washington School

Douglass Elementary School

Dunbar School

Eugene Field School

Everett School

Garrison-Greystone School

Garrison School

Grant Elementary School
(formerly Everett School, one of the 9 original schools in 1886)

Kealing School

Lincoln School (6th & State)

Lincoln School (Argentine)

London Heights School

Northeast Junior High

Phillips School

Quindaro Elementary School

Sumner High School
(now Sumner Academy)

Vernon School - formerly the Colored School of Quindaro

Western University

Wood School

Excerpts on African American students in the KCKs school system prior to 1962.

Profiles of African American Personalities in Wyandotte County, Kansas

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Additional Internet Sites and PDF Files
(not exclusive to USD 500)

African-American Immigration

African-Americans Migration to Wyandotte County 1860-1900
Dennis Lawrence

The African-American Mosaic
A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture

Ambassador Delano E. Lewis, Sr.
Personal Perspective: A Native Kansas Citian and African-American Relates the Impact of Brown vs. Board of Education on His Educational and Professional Journey

Black Americans in Wyandotte County Exhibit - 1978 (.pdf)

Black History Daily

Black Towns of Kansas

Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site


History of Quindaro and Research Project
Kansas City, Kansas Community College

     Jackson Five of Kansas City, Kansas (.pdf)
Courtesy of Mrs. Josephine Vandiver Boone


Kansas State Historical Society - "African-Americans in Kansas and the West"

Klu Klux Klan in Kansas

Newspaper in Education
Brown vs. Topeka decision

Quindaro and Western University Virtual Tour

Rattlebone Hollow

Reconnecting Communities
Dennis Lawrence

Until the 1954 case of Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, many states operated under the ruling of the 1892 Plessy vs. Ferguson case, which ending in a Supreme Court ruling of "equal but separate".  For many school districts across the country, this meant that it was OK for them to segregate the white and colored race as long as the facilities for both were equal. -- You might want to take a few minutes and visit the site of "Welcome to African-American History!"

Rose Hill - 8th Street Baptist Tabernacle (1885-1927) (.pdf)
Courtesy of Mrs. Josephine Vandiver Boone

William Allen White and his fight against the Ku Klux Klan

Virtual Library:  African American History

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Recommended Reading

Many of the books recommended for reading can be located in the KCKs Public Library, 625 Minnesota Ave, KCKs, 913-551-3280

A History of Black Education in Kansas City, Kansas, Readin', 'Riting, 'Rithmetic
by William W. Boone, March 1986

Meatpackers:  An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Thrie Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality, Rick Halpern and Roger Horowitz, 1996

To Heaven through Hell, An Autobiography of the First Black District Court Judge of Kansas, by Cordell D. Meeks, 1986

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What Do You Know about Kansas?
Great quiz site for elementary students!

Facts about Kansas and other states
Great reference site for elementary students!

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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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