“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Livingston in Polk County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Dunbar High School

Dunbar High School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, July 9, 2022
1. Dunbar High School Marker
Inscription.  Formal education for African American children in Livingston started in a building on West Street in the late 1800s. By 1908, the school also offered teaching certificates through one-month institutes. Later, part of a previous schoolhouse for Livingston's caucasian students was put on logs and pulled across town by mule teams for a new African American schoolhouse.

To meet the needs of the growing community, school trustees built a larger facility in the West End Addition. The school was named for Paul Laurence Dunbar, a nationally renowned African American poet. Dunbar High School opened in 1936 as the largest school for African Americans in Polk County, with twelve grades and vocational studies. The brick building housed eight classrooms, a library, principal's office and a fully equipped homemaking department. In the 1940s, activities expanded with a full-time athletic program and courses in agriculture and choral music. A 1945 fire gutted the building, with classes temporarily held in neighborhood churches. The state Department of Education accredited the school in 1946.

The Dunbar Leopards excelled in athletics,
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winning state titles in football in 1953, 1954 and 1958. New Willard School consolidated with Dunbar in 1957, transferring faculty, students and a building to the campus. In 1965, citywide school integration began with the Freedom of Choice program, resulting in Dunbar's closing in 1968. The Committee to Save Dunbar Complex bought the property and transferred it from the school district to Polk County in the 1980s, ensuring continued public use. School pride endures through an alumni association and the school's contributions to its graduates and its community.
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14630.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation. A significant historical year for this entry is 1908.
Location. 30° 43.021′ N, 94° 56.765′ W. Marker is in Livingston, Texas, in Polk County. Marker is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Dunbar Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Martin Luther King Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1112 N Dogwood, Livingston TX 77351, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity Lodge No. 14, A.F. & A.M. (approx. 0.4 miles away); Education in Livingston (approx. half a mile away); Early Indian Trails (approx. 0.7 miles away);
Dunbar High School and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, July 9, 2022
2. Dunbar High School and Marker
Chief John Blount (approx. 0.7 miles away); Locomotive No. 5 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Greenfield Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); First National Bank (approx. ¾ mile away); Livingston (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Livingston.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 12, 2022, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 12, 2022, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas.

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Sep. 27, 2023