DuSable High School

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DuSable High School (Campus)
DuSable HS Campus.jpg
Peace if possible, but justice at any rate.
4934 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60615
United States
Coordinates 41°48′17″N 87°37′30″W / 41.80472°N 87.62500°W / 41.80472; -87.62500Coordinates: 41°48′17″N 87°37′30″W / 41.80472°N 87.62500°W / 41.80472; -87.62500
School type Public Secondary
Opened 1935
2005 (DuSable Leadership)
2005 (Bronzeville)
2005 (Williams Prep)
School district Chicago Public Schools
CEEB Code 140790 (Dusable Leadership)
140981 (Bronzeville)
141109 (Williams Prep)[1]
Principal Frank Davis (DuSable Leadership)
Charles C. Campbell (Bronzeville)
Jullanar Naselli (Williams Prep)
Grades 912
Gender Coed
Enrollment 51 (DuSable Leadership; 2015–16)[2]
438 (Bronzeville; 2015–16)[3]
258 (Williams Prep; 2015–16)[4]
Campus type Urban
Color(s)      Red
Athletics conference Chicago Public League[5]
Team name Panthers[5]
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Yearbook Red and Black[6]

DuSable High School was a public 4–year high school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. DuSable was operated by the Chicago Public Schools district. The school was named after Chicago's first permanent non-native settler, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable. Constructed between 1931–34, DuSable opened in February 1935. Since 2005, The school building serves as home to three smaller schools; the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, DuSable Leadership Academy (part of the Betty Shabazz International Charter School),[7] and the Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine. All of the schools use the DuSable name in an athletics context.[8] The school building was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 1, 2013.[9]


Work on the school began in February 1931, and was specifically constructed to accommodate the increasing population of Phillips High School.[10] Construction was delayed for financial reasons, and was completed with a public works grant.[10] The school opened on February 4, 1935, and was called New Wendell Phillips High School.[10] New Phillips was a part of a five high school expansion that included Lane Tech High School, Steinmetz High School, Senn High School, and Wells High School.[11] The building was designed by Paul Gerhardt, Sr., an architect for the Chicago Board of Education.[12] On April 25, 1936, the school's name was changed to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the first non-native to settle the area; however there was a delay in implementing the name, as the exact spelling was in dispute.[13] During the 1940s on thru the 1960s, DuSable enrollment was more than 4,000 which prompted two graduation ceremonies (spring and summer).

DuSable's initial fame was in its music program. Captain Walter Dyett was the longtime music instructor at the school, who created a music program that turned out a number of notable and eminent musical artists, particularly in the genre of jazz. The school's alumni and staff include individuals who hold unique historic positions, particularly in the area of African-American history. DuSable became surrounded by the Robert Taylor Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority public housing project where 80% of the student population were residents.[14] It was the largest housing project in the US, but has been demolished because its design did not work for residents. In 2003, Chicago Public Schools decided to phase out DuSable due to its poor academic performance. In 2005, three schools were opened in the building as apart of the Renaissance 2010 program. All three of the schools; Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, Daniel Hale Williams School of Medicine and DuSable Leadership Academy were created by DuSable staff members.[15]


DuSable competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). DuSable's boys basketball team were Public League champions in 1953 and 1954, and regional champions in 2012 and 2013. The girl's track and field team were Class AA in 1977-78.[16]

Other information[edit]

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Board of Education opened a birth control clinic in the school in June 1985, in efforts to lower the school's high teen-age pregnancy and drop-out rates.[17] The opening of the clinic caused worldwide controversy.[18][19][20] The school once held an inner sanctuary that had many different animals, including peacocks, a goat, snakes, pigeons, chickens, and various other species. In 1995, with funding from NASA, DuSable became the first public high school in Chicago to be connected to the Internet.[21] DuSable principal Charles Mingo created the "Second-Chance Program", a program that served as an alternative school for recent high school drop-outs and adults looking to earn a high school diploma in 1994.[22]

Crime and gang violence[edit]

In 1949, 17–year old LaVon Cain was shot to death at the school by another student; 19–year-old Edwina Howard. It was the first fatal shooting in a Chicago public school.[23] By 1977, the school had developed a reputation for gang violence.[24] In January 1986, a 15–year-old male student was stabbed by another student.[25] On October 13, 1987, 15–year-old freshmen Dartagnan Young was shot to death in a gang-related shooting in the hallway on the school's third floor shortly after 8 a.m. by 16–year-old sophomore Larry Sims.[26][27] Witnesses said Young was shot after arguing with Sims over street-gang activity from the previous day. The murder prompted some students to transfer from DuSable that day and days following.[28][29]

Notable alumni[edit]

Nat King Cole
John H. Johnson
Dinah Washington
Harold Washington

Notable staff[edit]


  1. ^ "High School Code Search". College Board. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Chicago Public Schools: Du Sable Leadership
  3. ^ Chicago Public Schools: Bronzeville
  4. ^ Chicago Public Schools: Williams Prep
  5. ^ a b c "Chicago (DuSable)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 31 December 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  6. ^ DuSable High School 1963 Yearbook, Chicago, IL
  7. ^ CPS announces possible exceptions to school closing moratorium BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK Education Reporter October 1, 2013
  8. ^ DuSable High School. mapreps.com
  9. ^ Mayor Emanuel Honors DuSable High School as a Community Cornerstone, Presents Landmark Plaque to School Alumni and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd)
  10. ^ a b c "NEW PHILLIPS HIGH SCHOOL TO OPEN TOMORROW: Classes Also to Continue in Old Building". Chicago Daily Tribune. 3 February 1935. pp. S5. 
  11. ^ "NEW $6,000,000 LANE TECHNICAL TO OPEN SEPT. 17 :School Finest of Kind; Capacity 7,000 Students". Chicago Daily Tribune. 26 August 1934. p. 10. 
  12. ^ LANDMARK DESIGNATION REPORT: DuSable High School, 2012
  13. ^ Provines, Julie (23 April 1936). "Front Views and Profiles". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 15. One hundred and fifty-seven years ago, Jean Baptiste Point de Saible ... settled in Chicago ... and last week his memory was honored with the changing of the name of the new Wendell Phillips High School ... The full name of the school is to be used but ... the principal of the school has cautioned the teachers not to write the name until they have been given official confirmation of the spelling ... 
  14. ^ Separate But Equal The Financing Of Public Education In Illinois Works Like This: Dusable Spends $6,000 Per Student, New Trier Spends $12,000 February 12, 1995
  15. ^ Three schools to open at DuSable next year - Chicago Tribune: (September 28, 2004)
  16. ^ IHSA: Chicago (DuSable)
  17. ^ Birth Control At Du Sable ApprovedBoard Still Backs Clinic At SchoolChicago Tribune (October 10, 1985)
  18. ^ Teen Clinic Wins On Birth ControlChicago Tribune (September 26, 1985)
  19. ^ Controversy Surrounds High School Birth Control Clinic
  20. ^ The battle over birth control - Contraceptives in schools. DuSable clinic at heart of controversy.By Hattie Clark, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / November 18, 1986
  21. ^ D. G. York, M.-M. Mac Low, B. Brown, L. M. Franco, L. M. Rebull, C. Graziani, J. Lauroesch. "DuSable High School Internet Project and its influence in connecting Chicago Public Schools to the Internet". Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 192: 27.05. 
  22. ^ Dropping Back In: Dusable High School Gives Hopefuls Another Shot At Their Diplomas: Chicago Tribune (October 4, 1994)
  23. ^ Slain Girl's Parents Sue School Board (Jet Magazine: November 29, 1951)
  24. ^ Living In A War Zone Called Taylor Homes: Residents Trapped In Battles Over Drug Turf, Chicago Tribune, March 10, 1993
  25. ^ Student Charged In School Stabbing - Chicago Tribune (January 30, 1986)
  26. ^ $3 Million Bond Set In Student`s Slaying - Chicago Tribune (October 16, 1987)
  27. ^ "STUDENT KILLED AT CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL". AP News Archive. 14 October 1987. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  28. ^ "Witnesses Describe Du Sable Killing". Chicago Tribune. 27 September 1989. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  29. ^ 1 Broadcast Newswriting: The RTDNA Reference Guide, A Manual for Professionals By Mervin Block
  30. ^ a b c d "Gene Ammons: The Jug". biographic sketch. National Public Radio. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2010. Some of Ammons' stylistic versatility can undoubtedly be traced to his Chicago home ... He also learned from the renowned "Captain" Walter Dyett, the musical director of Chicago's DuSable High School. Dyett was instrumental in launching the careers of many other DuSable alumni, including the legendary crooner and pianist Nat "King" Cole and fellow saxophonist Johnny Griffin. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Wang, Richard (27 May 2008). "Captain Walter Dyett". Chicago Jazz (Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago Jazz Entertainment). Retrieved 3 January 2010. The list of famous Jazz musicians who passed through his program is legion: saxophonists Gene "Jug" Ammons, Johnny Board, Von Freeman, Joseph Jarman, John Gilmore, and Clifford Jordan; trumpeters Sonny Cohn and Paul Serrano; trombonist Julian Priester; bassists Wilbur Ware, Richard Davis, and Fred Hopkins; pianists Dorothy Donegan and John Young; drummers Wilbur Campbell, Walter Perkins, and Jerome Cooper; violinist Leroy Jenkins; singers Dinah Washington and Johnny Hartman  line feed character in |quote= at position 126 (help)
  32. ^ "Ronnie Boykins". biographic sketch. Chicago Public Schools. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  33. ^ a b Campbell, Robert L. (26 March 1995). "FROM SONNY BLOUNT TO SUN RA: The Birmingham and Chicago Years". revision of a talk given by the author. University of Alabama-Birmingham. Retrieved 3 January 2010. John Gilmore (born 1931 in Summit, Mississippi, but raised in Chicago) had attended DuSable High School with its fabled band program ... He and Spaulding added their flutes to the Arkestral armamentarium. And then there was bassist extraordinaire Ronnie Boykins (1932-1980, another graduate of DuSable High School). 
  34. ^ The HistoryMakers: Timuel Black
  35. ^ Chicago Public Library: Timuel Black
  36. ^ a b Bell, Taylor (29 January 1993). "Lewis' Goal: Revive Du Sable Basketball". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2 January 2010. Lewis is determined to rekindle one of Chicago's proudest traditions. He recalls Du Sable's glory years . . . the famed 1954 team of Sweet Charlie Brown and Paxton Lumpkin that finished second in the state tournament, Maurice Cheeks, Kevin Porter, Larry Cross, Mitchell Moseley, William Dice, Stephon Butler. 
  37. ^ a b Berkow, Ira (9 February 1991). "SPORTS OF THE TIMES; The Death Of a Prep Legend". New York Times. Retrieved 2 January 2010. But such future National Basketball Association players as Kevin Porter and Maurice Cheeks, who played many years later at Paxton Lumpkin's high school, DuSable, on the South Side of Chicago, would remember his name, and his legend. 
  38. ^ "Don Cornelius". Chicago Public Schools. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  39. ^ Vincent T. Cullers, Founder Of First Black-Owned Ad Agency Dies: Jet Magazine (October 27, 2003)
  40. ^ "Redd Foxx". biographical sketch. Chicago Public Schools. Archived from the original on December 24, 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  41. ^ Campbell, Gregory Alan; University of Washington (2006). "A beautiful, shining sound object": Contextualizing multi-instrumentalism in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. University of Washington. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-542-76897-2. 
  42. ^ "Ella Jenkins". biographic sketch. Chicago Public Schools. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  43. ^ "John H. Johnson". biographical sketch. Chicago Public Schools. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  44. ^ "Ernie McMillan". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Harold Washington: Mayor of Chicago, Congressman". biographic sketch. Office of the Clerk of Cook County. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  46. ^ Coleman, Geoffrey (April 1994). "Harold Washington: Chicago politician". Illinois History (Springfield, IL, USA: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency) 47 (3): 72. ISSN 0019-2058. Retrieved 3 January 2010. Harold attended the local public schools and Milwaukee's St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School. Unfortunately for him, he disliked it so intensely that he ran away three times. Harold then attended DuSable High School, but dropped out, claiming that he was no longer challenged by the classwork. 
  47. ^ H. CON. RES. 14: Expressing the sense of the Congress that a commemorative postage stamp should be issued in honor of Harold Washington, the 42d mayor of Chicago. (Introduced in House) (27 January 2003). Expressing the sense of the Congress that a commemorative postage stamp should be issued in honor of Harold Washington, the 42d mayor of Chicago. 108th Congress, 1st Session. Washington, DC, USA: United States House of Representatives. Whereas Mayor Harold Washington was an exemplary public servant and dynamic leader who dedicated his life to his beloved Chicago and to equal opportunity for all of Chicago's citizens; Whereas Washington was a graduate of DuSable High School, Roosevelt University, and the Northwestern University School of Law; 
  48. ^ "Jason Williams". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Chuck Winfrey". Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  50. ^ Saluting Capt. Walter Dyett, who made stars at DuSable: Chicago Tribune (August 21, 2013)
  51. ^ Former principal of DuSable High Charles Mingo dies Chicago Sun-Times (February 7, 2012)
  53. ^ A school's revolution in reading High school basics
  54. ^ Charles E. Mingo Obituary
  55. ^ "Margaret Taylor-Burroughs". biographic sketch. Chicago Public Schools. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  56. ^ Illinois House Resolution 0802 (PDF). Springfield, IL, USA: Illinois House of Representatives (95th General Assembly). 2 November 2007. (lines 18–19) ... she then went to teach at DuSable High School for 23 years ... 

External links[edit]