Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. was America’s first black public high school.  Named after black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, the high school produced some of the most successful blacks in the country.

Dunbar High was founded in 1870 as the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth in the basement of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church. It was later changed to M Street High School before being renamed Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 1916. Dunbar High was D.C.’s answer to the lack of funding for black schools from D.C. Board of Education. Gaining the reputation of the best black establishment for higher education in the country, the school employed a high number of teachers with PHD’s.

In 1977, the original structure was torn down and rebuilt with a more contemporary look. It was the center of controversy for many blacks who believed the old structure held more history and significance.

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6 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

  1. Rayar Johnson on said:

    August 12,2013

    Please, Please Help us! In the February 14,2013 Wayne County Newspaper,( Front Page) It tells of the school violations and bullying and harassment my children have suffered in the WCSD, Mississippi. But, it did not mention that the latest of those threats were from the school KKK note. Now, this same girl where two knifes were found on her is back at school and sitting behind my child on their bus.
    This is not the first racial discrimination . My kids have a right to a safe school environment.
    The WCSD said they would handle it and they would prosecute and she would not be back on that campus. They would not tell me one court date no notification, just it’s been handled. 911 did not even send an officer at my request the day of.
    The children are shocked and scared. I beg for justice. I do not know why help for justice is so hard. They are not going back to school until they are represented. This is sad that anyone would think we are okay with this.

  2. Man oh Man! you guys be putting down with this “Little Known Black History Facts”….Paul Dunbar Laurence High School, the FIRST Black public high school…..I pray you guys continue this invaluable work.

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