Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

By Vivian Gunn Morris; Curtis L. Morris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5

The Segregated African American School: A Center for Culture, Recreation, Leadership, and Education

The most profound event in the whole Trenholm High School was when I was doing an oratorical contest in 1954 and I remember Buzz Beasley and Fred Johnson and some other people standing in the back of the auditorium and they said, “Speak loudly and clearly because someday you might want somebody to hear.” When I got up there [as part of an American delegation in Hong Kong], I don’t know how much I spoke of substance, but I spoke loudly and clearly. And everybody stopped what they were doing and listened…. But all I did was what the teachers told me to do.

1955 graduate of Trenholm


MORE THAN ACADEMICS

“It takes a whole village to raise a child” is a statement of philosophy repeated by many educators, community residents, and policymakers around the nation as they attempt to discover ways to provide quality schooling for all children in a democracy. The notion communicated by this philosophy is nothing new to the African American community in Tuscumbia, Alabama, which for nearly 100 years lived this philosophy. Tuscumbia Colored Public School/Trenholm High School, with grades 1–12, served as the central unifying force in the African American community from 1877 until 1969 when the segregated school building was closed by court order and later demolished. For most of the period that the school existed, the South was a segregated society and many of the community resources that were available to white citizens were denied to African Americans. The activities held at the school building thus served the

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