In The Steps of Esteban: Tucson's African American Heritage

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Photographic Exhibits

DUNBAR SCHOOL: Shared Memories of a Special Past

DUNBAR SCHOOL
Tucson, Arizona
1913-1951

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On Monday, September 18, 1913, classes began at Dunbar School, Tucson's first school of children of African descent. Mr. Cicero Simmons, a graduate of Booker T. Washington's school at Tuskegee, Alabama was hired as Dunbar's first principal earning a salary of $90 per month. Mr. Morgan Maxwell, Sr., replaced Mr. Simmons in 1940. During the course of the thirty-eight years of the school's history it underwent three name changes. It was know as the "Colored School" in 1913, Dunbar Junior High in 1917, and after segregation of Arizona schools was ended in 1951, it was renamed John A. Spring.

The African American History Internship Project, jointly sponsored by Pima College and the Arizona Historical Society, presents this exhibit. History intern Baiza Muhammad and teaching assistant Annie Sykes utilized photographs borrowed from community members and research collections at the Arizona Historical Society Library. Harry Lawson, PhD, was the project advisor in spring of 1988.

A collection of oral histories titled "Dunbar School: Shared Memories of a Special Past" is also available.

The first "colored school" in Tucson was established 1913 at 215 E. 6th St.
The first "colored school" in Tucson was established 1913 at 215 E. 6th St.
It was established as a result of a legislative mandate segregating African Americans.


The "colored school" was relocated in 1917 and its name changed to Dunbar
The "colored school" was relocated in 1917 and its name changed to Dunbar.
It was located at 300 W. 2nd St. In 1951, the school was integrated, modernized, and renamed John A. Spring.

Continue with more images of the Dunbar School