Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana was already etched in the annals of history after its boy’s basketball team became the first all-Black high school squad to win a state title in the nation. But it has been revealed that Attucks has a far more controversial past that many might not know.
Indy filmmaker Ted Green examines some of the school’s racist roots in a new documentary, Attucks: The School That Opened The City. Although Indiana was one of the few states in the Union that embraced integration of its public schools, the Ku Klux Klan’s presence was strong.
Although Indiana school had been integrated since the late 19th Century, in 1922 Indiana voted for school segregation. Attucks was built in 1927 and until 1949, it was the only school Black students in Indianapolis could attend. Like many segregated schools, Attucks was supposed to be ‘separate but equal’ but that was not the case. Facilities were substandard and supplies were inadequate.
Despite this, many Attucks students went on to stellar careers. NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson was a member of the 1955 basketball squad that made history and dominated into the 50’s. The first two Black women to enter Indiana University’s medical school program also attended Attucks, as well as Massachusetts’ first Black Secretary of Education.
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