Black History Month 2024: First Class- Ch. 11 Elite versus Elitism

This year for Black History Month we’ll review chapter by chapter Alison Stewart’s First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School. This is more Truxton Circle related then this blog’s previous annual looks at Shaw resident and founder of Negro History Week (later Black history month) Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s Mis-Education of the Negro. As Dunbar High School is located in Truxton Circle currently taking up all of Square 554.

The first half of the chapter is about all the great graduates of Dunbar. Jazz pianist Billy Taylor (1939) and Senator Edward William Brooke III (1936).

Billy Taylor. 1947.
Senator Edward Brooke standing behind a chair which is decorated with the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, probably in Washington, D.C. after his election






The second half has Dunbar going through the 1960s and a tension of philosophies. To tell that story the focus is Madison Tingor, a teacher who started at Dunbar in the 1930s and in the 60s was given a chance to be the assistant principal of the formerly all-white Eastern High School. It was the philosophy and outlook that he brought from Dunbar vs the 60s Afrocentric strivers.