Crispus Attucks High School

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Crispus Attucks High School
1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Street
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana 46226
United States
TypePublic high school
School districtIndianapolis Public Schools
PrincipalLauren Franklin
Enrollment441 (2013-2014)
Athletics conferencePioneer
Team nameTigers
Crispus Attucks High School
Crispus Attucks High School.jpg
Front and southern side of the school
Crispus Attucks High School is located in Indianapolis
Crispus Attucks High School
Crispus Attucks High School is located in Indiana
Crispus Attucks High School
Crispus Attucks High School is located in the US
Crispus Attucks High School
Location1140 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Coordinates39°46′58.39″N 86°10′11.78″W / 39.7828861°N 86.1699389°W / 39.7828861; -86.1699389Coordinates: 39°46′58.39″N 86°10′11.78″W / 39.7828861°N 86.1699389°W / 39.7828861; -86.1699389
ArchitectHarrison & Turnock; Brown & Mick
Architectural styleCollegiate Gothic/Tudor Revival
NRHP reference #88003043[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 04, 1989

Crispus Attucks High School of Indianapolis Public Schools in Indianapolis, in the U.S. state of Indiana is named for Crispus Attucks (c.1723–March 5, 1770), a black protestor killed at the Boston Massacre. Built at a location northwest of downtown Indianapolis, Crispus Attucks was the only high school in Indianapolis designated specifically for African-Americans; after its construction blacks were not permitted to attend any other public high school in the city until integration of the schools became the law of the land.[2][3]


Built northwest of downtown Indianapolis, Crispus Attucks was the only all-black high school in Indianapolis. White residents of the city, not wanting their children to attend an integrated high school, designated a new school be built, specifically for African-American students. Teenagers who were enrolled at other city high schools such as Arsenal Technical, Washington, and Shortridge were removed from those schools and forced to enroll at Crispus Attucks. It was thought, at the time, that students would receive a 'separate but equal' education; but the students at Attucks had excellent teachers. While most other high schools had teachers armed with an undergraduate bachelor's degree, all of the teachers at Attucks had at least a master's degree and some a Ph.D.[4]

An all-black school had to have all black teachers, and the teachers hired for this new school were well-educated. While black students were allowed to attend colleges and universities, they were not yet allowed to teach there. Schools of higher learning did not admit blacks to their faculties. That left a large group of over-qualified teachers forced to teach at the high-school level.

Crispus Attucks had good success in basketball during the 1950s producing two Indiana Mr.Basketballs. In 1955, the school's basketball team, led by future professional star and Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, gained fame by winning the Indiana state championship, becoming the first all-black school in the nation to win a state title. Robertson led Crispus Attucks to another championship in 1956, as it was the first Indiana high school team to complete a season undefeated.

Attucks began admitting white students in 1967. In 1981, the school was threatened with closure due to rapidly declining enrollment within Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Instead, the school was converted from a high school to a junior high school in 1986, then to a middle school in 1993, and then back to a high school in 2006.

In 2006, Superintendent Eugene White announced the formation of "The Medical Magnet at Crispus Attucks," thus changing the school from a middle school to a medical preparatory 6–12 high school. This is partially because of the school's proximity to the campus of Indiana University School of Medicine and the associated hospitals. The change was made by adding one grade each year. The first class graduated in 2010. The first class to go through the medical magnet graduated in 2013.

Crispus Attucks was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Notable alumni[edit]

Crispus Attucks High School 1955 State Champion basketball team in 2015


  1. ^ National Park Service (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Crispus Attucks High School". National Park Service. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Ford, Lynn (February 1, 2001). "Library Factfiles - Crispus Attucks High School". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  4. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-08-01. Note: This includes Blanch Stewart and Glory-June Greiff (October 1987). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Crispus Attucks High School" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-01. and Accompanying photographs
  5. ^ "Colin Power - a mentor from Attucks". Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Harlem Globetrotters Legends". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Hall of Fame". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Bailey Robertson". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  9. ^ "TV star and Attucks grad Meshach Taylor dies at 67". Indianapolis Star. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2015.

External links[edit]