Kokomo in Howard County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Named after statesmen and former slave, Frederick Douglass, this school opened in 1920.
That year the Kokomo School Board recommended that all African-American students in first through seventh grades enroll only at Douglass.
With no school transportation available, many elementary students walked two miles or more, often past all-white elementary schools, to receive their education.
One of the school's highlights happened when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made a surprise visit. Principal Henry Perry led her to classrooms where she spoke with teachers and students. Mrs. Roosevelt posed for a photograph on the front steps surrounded by students.
Reverend Henry Perry was the school's principal from 1927 to 1949. In April 1940, Principal Perry led an organizational meeting in the school's basement gymnasium, where a board of directors was elected and $500 pledged for the future establishment of the Carver Community Center. At the meeting, the teachers of Douglass School pledged $115.
In 1949 the Indiana legislature required school districts to end racial segregation in public schools
In a 1967 racial discrimination case, a U.S. District Court ordered Douglass School to be closed. The judge cited the school's "inferior educational resources," and the following year Douglass School ceased operations.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1920.
Location. 40° 29.757′ N, 86° 7.53′ W. Marker is in Kokomo, Indiana, in Howard County. Marker is on North Bell Street just north of East Elm Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1104 N Bell St, Kokomo IN 46901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Albert Berryman (approx. 0.3 miles away); 1850s Railroad Workers' Quarters (approx. 0.4 miles away); March on Washington, 1963 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dr. Henry C. Cole (approx. 0.4 miles away); Education (approx. 0.4 miles away); Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955 (approx. 0.4 miles away); George Tate House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sit-ins, 1960-61 (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kokomo.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 4, 2022, by Trevor L Whited of Kokomo, Indiana. This page has been viewed 83 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 4, 2022, by Trevor L Whited of Kokomo, Indiana. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.