Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.)
|Dunbar High School|
101 N Street Northwest
|School type||Public high school|
|School district||District of Columbia Public Schools Ward 5|
|Grades||9 to 12|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.68|
|Athletics conference||District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association|
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is a public secondary school located in Washington, D.C., United States. The school is located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington, two blocks from the intersection of New Jersey and New York avenues. Dunbar, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
From the early 20th century to the 1950s, Dunbar became known as the classical academic high school for black students in the segregated public schools. As all public school teachers were federal civil servants, its teachers received pay equal to that of white teachers in other schools in the district. It attracted high-quality faculty, many with advanced degrees, including doctorates. Parents sent their children to the high school from across the city because of its high standards. Many of its alumni graduated from top-quality colleges and universities, and gained professional degrees.
Originally named the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth from 1891 to 1916 it became known as M Street High School. The school was founded as an educational mission at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church. The school was one of America's first public high school for black students. When its location was changed from M Street, the school was renamed in 1916 for the noted African-American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, who died in 1906.
As more high schools had been established, Dunbar was designated as the city's academic high school, with other schools providing more vocational or technical training. Dunbar was known for its excellent academics, enough so that some black parents moved to Washington specifically so their children could attend it. All the public school teachers were federal employees, and Dunbar's faculty was paid well by the standards of the time, earning parity pay with Washington's white school teachers. The school boasted a high number of graduates who went on to higher education and a generally successful student body.:91
In the 21st century, Dunbar is similar to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland and Fort Worth, Texas, as all three schools have a majority African-American student body and are of major importance to the local African-American community. All three schools are also highly regarded for their athletic programs within their respective school district in the sports of football, basketball and track. There is also a Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky.:307
One of Dunbar's first principals in Washington, DC was the first black graduate of Harvard College. Almost all the teachers had graduate degrees, and several earned PhDs. By the 1950s, Dunbar High School was sending 80 percent of its students to college.:173
"For Washington, the end of racial segregation led to a political compromise, in which all schools became neighborhood schools. Dunbar, which had been accepting outstanding black students from anywhere in the city, could now accept only students from the rough ghetto neighborhood in which it was located. Virtually overnight, Dunbar became a typical ghetto school. As unmotivated, unruly and disruptive students flooded in, Dunbar teachers began moving out and many retired. More than 80 years of academic excellence simply vanished into thin air." 
Since its inception, the school has graduated many well-known figures of the 20th century, including Sterling Brown, H. Naylor Fitzhugh, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Charles R. Drew, William H. Hastie, Charles Hamilton Houston, Robert Heberton Terrell, Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Paul Capel, III, Robert C. Weaver, and James E. Bowman. Its illustrious faculty included Anna Julia Cooper, Kelly Miller, Mary Church Terrell, A. A. Birch Jr., Carter G. Woodson, and Julia Evangeline Brooks, who was also a graduate of the school. Among its principals were Anna J. Cooper, Richard Greener, Mary Jane Patterson, and Robert Heberton Terrell. An unusual number of teachers and principals held Ph.D. degrees, including historian Carter G. Woodson, the second African American to earn a PhD from Harvard (after W. E. B. Du Bois) and the father of 'Black History Month'.:39-106
Up until 1954, Fairfax County, Virginia, had no secondary schools for black students. Dunbar and several other District of Columbia public schools were able to accept black students from the county before that time.
Dunbar competes in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Dunbar has about 650 students.
- 98% are African American
- 1% are Hispanic American
- Less than 1% are Asian American
- Less than 1% are Native American
- Less than 1% are European American
Approximately 46% of students qualified for free or reduced lunch.
Feeder elementary schools include:
- J. F. Cook
Feeder middle schools include:
Feeder K-8 schools include:
- Walker-Jones Education Center
Artists and musicians
- Elizabeth Catlett, a prominent sculptor and artist.
- George Faison, Tony and Emmy Award-winning choreographer, dancer and producer
- May Miller, playwright
- Billy Taylor, jazz pianist
- Vantile Whitfield, influential arts administrator and theater director
- Arrelious Benn, NFL wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Nate Bussey, NFL linebacker in the NFL and CFL
- Josh Cribbs, NFL player
- Vernon Davis, NFL tight end for the Washington Redskins
- Vontae Davis, retired NFL cornerback who played for the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, and Buffalo Bills
- John Duren, NBA player and 19th overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz
- Cornelius Greene, All-American and first African American quarterback to start at Ohio State University
- Anthony Jones, former basketball player for Georgetown Univ and UNLV. Jones was selected in the 1st round by the Washington Bullets in the 1986 NBA Draft. Also played for the Spurs, Bulls and Mavericks.
- Wil Jones, record setting basketball player at American University and head basketball coach of University of the District of Columbia National Champions, Division II, 1982.
- Tre Kelley, former basketball player for the University of South Carolina
- Bernard Robinson, retired NBA player.
- Craig Shelton, retired NBA player.
- Michael Smith, NBA Smith was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft. He would play for the Kings, Vancouver Grizzlies, and Washington Wizards.
- Mary Burke Washington (1944), economist and government official
- Wesley A. Brown, first African-American graduate of the US Naval Academy.
- Frederic E. Davison, first African- American Major General in the Army.
- Edward Brooke, first African American to be elected by popular vote to the United States Senate.
- Lawrence Chambers, first African-American graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to reach the rank of admiral.
- Vincent C. Gray, former chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia and mayor of Washington D.C.
- Eleanor Holmes Norton (1955), Delegate to Congress.
- Clarence M. Pendleton Jr., chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1981 until his death in 1988
- Inez Smith Reid, judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals
- Antoinette Scott, nurse and soldier who is the first female from Washington D.C. to receive the Purple Heart. DC
- Annice M. Wagner, judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Scholars and professionals
- James E. Bowman, scientist, physician, pathologist, studied G6PD and Sickle cell disease
- Sterling Allen Brown, professor, poet
- Allison Davis (1920), anthropologist, educator, scholar; first African American to hold full faculty position at a major white institution, namely, University of Chicago
- John Aubrey Davis Sr. Civil rights activist, head academic researcher on Brown v. The Board of Education, New Negro Alliance co-founder and political science professor
- Enid Cook de Rodaniche, virologist and bacteriologist. She was the Chief of the Public Health Laboratory at the Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas in Panama City, Panama.
- Charles R. Drew (1922), discovered blood plasma and was first black surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery
- H. Naylor Fitzhugh, credited with creating the concept of target marketing
- Evelyn Boyd Granville, second African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics from an American university
- Colbert I. King, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist
- Edna Burke Jackson, first African American woman to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School
- G. David Houston, former Professor of English at Howard University
- Jane Eleanor Datcher, first African American woman to earn an advanced degree from Cornell University
- GNIS entry for Dunbar Senior High School; USGS; December 31, 1981.
- "Dunbar HS". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Stewart, Alison. First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School. Chicago Review Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-61374-009-5.
- Sowell, Thomas (October 4, 2016). "Dunbar High School after 100 Years". Creators Syndicate. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- "In Nation's First Black Public High School, A Blueprint For Reform". All Things Considered. NPR. July 29, 2013.
- "History Archived August 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine." Luther Jackson Middle School. Retrieved on June 4, 2016.
- "A History of Luther P. Jackson High School : A Report of a Case Study on the Development of a Black High School" (thesis abstract). Virginia Tech. Retrieved on June 4, 2016.
- Dunbar High School
- Schudel, Matt (April 3, 2012). "Elizabeth Catlett, pioneering D.C.-born artist, dies at 96". Washington Post.
- Brown, Joe (November 14, 1983). "Washington's 'Wiz'". Washington Post.
- Barnes, Bart (February 10, 1995). "Washington Poet, Playwright May Miller Sullivan Dies at 96". Washington Post.
- Mergner, Lee (April 26, 2019). "Dr. Billy Taylor, Jazz Pianist, Dies". JazzTimes.
- Shinhoster Lamb, Yvonne (January 23, 2005). "Arts Administrator, Playwright Vantile Whitfield Dies". Washington Post.
- Goldenbach, Alan (November 23, 2006). "Different Paths, Same End". Washington Post.
- Allen, Scott (October 18, 2016). "Dunbar High football alumni ruled the NFL in Week 6". Washington Post.
- Pomerantz, Gary (April 2, 1986). "After the Fast Breaks Come the Tough Breaks". Washington Post.
- "Cornelius Green Ohio State's 1st black QB has DC roots". USA TODAY High School Sports. November 7, 2014.
- Hill Jr, Edward (November 13, 1980). "Dunbar's Mr. Jones: Crimson Tide's Ticket To Basketball Heaven". Washington Post.
- Schudel, Matt (March 14, 2014). "Wil Jones, flamboyant UDC basketball coach, dies at 75" Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
- "Dunbar grad Kelley takes national honor". The Washington Times. March 29, 2007.
- Barr, Josh (March 14, 1999). "Dunbar Hangs On To Wear the Crown". Washington Post.
- Janes, Chelsea (October 30, 2014). "Throwback Thursday: Oct. 30, 1989, when Dunbar's Michael Smith picked Providence". Washington Post.
- Bernstein, Adam (December 5, 2014). "Mary Washington, government official and widow of former D.C. mayor, dies at 88". Washington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- Shapiro, T. Rees (May 25, 2012). "Wesley A. Brown, first black Naval Academy graduate, dies at 85". Washington Post.
- "Army Maj. Gen. Frederic Davison Dies at 82". Washington Post. January 30, 1990.
- Martin, Douglas (January 3, 2015). "Edward W. Brooke III, 95, Senate Pioneer, Is Dead". The New York Times.
- "D.C.'s Dunbar High, America's First Black Public High School". The Kojo Nnamdi Show. August 20, 2013.
- "Honoring Rear Admiral Lawrence Cleveland ``Larry Chambers". Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 52. United States House of Representatives. March 26, 2018. p. E372.
- Lindsay, Drew (May 1, 2004). "The Decision That Changed Everything | Washingtonian (DC)". Washingtonian.
- McQuiston, John T. (June 6, 1988). "Clarence M. Pendleton, 57, Dies; Head of Civil Rights Commission". The New York Times.
- States, United; Affairs, United States Congress Senate Committee on Governmental (May 22, 1995). Nominations of Inez Smith Reid, Linda Kay Davis, Ronna Lee Beck, and Eric Tyson Washington: Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress. U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 978-0-16-052439-4.
- Cloherty, Megan (March 30, 2016). "D.C. woman given unique award for service in Iraq". WTOP.
- Holmes Norton, Eleanor (July 11, 2005). "Commending District of Columbia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Annice Wagner". Congressional Record, Volume 151, Part 11. United States House of Representatives.
- "Obituaries of note: James E. Bowman, Dave Hill, Richard W. Mallary, Leonard Dillon". Washington Post. February 28, 2011.
- "About Sterling A. Brown". poets.org. Academy of American Poets.
- Gruber, Katie (August 7, 2018). "Charting a Course". South Side Weekly.
- "W. Allison Davis '24 and John A. Davis '33". The Davis Center. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- Barnes, Bart (December 21, 2002). "John Aubrey Davis Sr". Washington Post.
- Nilipour, Leila; Valenzuela, Mauricio Valenzuela. "El Gorgas, un laboratorio que no duerme". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- Kelly, John (April 6, 2020). "The untimely death of his sister from the flu inspired this D.C. doctor to greatness". Washington Post.
- "H. Naylor Fitzhugh Dies". Washington Post. July 29, 1992.
- Lamb, Evelyn (May 1, 2014). "Happy 90th Birthday, Evelyn Boyd Granville!". Scientific American Blog Network.
- Colbert I. King - "Dunbar High School's sad descent into hard times", Washington Post]
- Fatsis, Stefan (December 28, 2020). "The complicated racial history of the high school D.C. is renaming". Washington Post. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
- Brubaker, Bill (November 2, 1989). "COURTING RAYFUL EDMOND". Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
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