HISD schools named for African-Americans

HISD has more than 30 schools that recognize the contributions of African-Americans by bearing their names. Here is a list of schools in observance of Black History Month.

Attucks Middle School– Crispus Attucks (1723-1770) was a leader of American colonists opposing British troops. He was killed when British soldiers fired into a crowd of protesters and became an icon of the anti-slavery movement. 

Blackshear Elementary School– Edward Lavoisier Blackshear (1862-1919) served as first principal of Emancipation Park School before becoming the principal of Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M University).

Bruce Elementary School– Kelso Bruce was a former slave who founded a school for Blacks in Missouri during the Civil War. He was the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate (1875–1881) and served as registrar of the U.S. Treasury. 

Burrus Elementary School – James Dallas Burrus (1846-1928) was a former slave who became a successful educator. Born in Tennessee, he was the first African-American professor of mathematics at Fisk University in 1882.

Dogan Elementary School– Matthew Winfred Dogan (1863–1947) was the author of the pioneering study “The Progress of the Negro,” and for many years was president of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. 

Elmore ElementarySchool– Bennie Carl Elmore (1909-1973) was a highly regarded North Forest ISD principal and pioneer in African-American education. 

Harper Alternative School– Born in Baltimore, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was an abolitionist, suffragist, poet and author. In 1894, she helped found the National Association of Colored Women. 

Hines-Caldwell Elementary School – Jean Hines Caldwell graduated from Wheatley High School and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from PVAMU. She was a teacher and guidance counselor at Wheatley and a mentor to countless students. 

N.Q. Henderson Elementary School– Nathaniel “Nat” Q. Henderson (1866-1949) was one of the earliest graduates of what is now PVAMU. He served as principal of Bruce Elementary School from 1909 to 1942.

Hilliard Elementary School– Lifelong educator Asa Grant Hilliard was born in 1863 in Atlanta to slaves and later moved to Texas with his parents.

Barbara Jordan High School– Barbara Jordan (1936–1996) of Houston was the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate (1966) and the first southern African-American woman elected to the U. S. House of Representatives (1972). 

Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Center– The revered civil rights leader and minister advocated nonviolent social protest in the pursuit of racial equality. He became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968.

Lawson Middle School– Audrey Hoffman Lawson (1932-2016) was the founding first lady of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, along with her husband, Rev. William “Bill” Lawson. She created community education and outreach programs that touched the lives of thousands of students.

Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men– Leland served in the Texas legislature from 1972-1978 before moving on to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served until his death. He died in a plane crash while on a mission to Ethiopia.

Lockhart Elementary School – Lucian L. Lockhart (1868–1955) was an educator and business leader. He was the father of Ruby Lockhart Thompson, after whom Thompson Elementary is named.

Marshall Elementary School – Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) was the first African-American Supreme Court justice. He successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that ruled segregated public schools unconstitutional. 

McGowen Elementary– Houston City Councilman Ernest McGowen Sr. (1925-2012) also served as an HISD trustee. He helped establish the first vocational technical high school in HISD. 

Osborne Elementary School– John G. Osborne was a Houston physician. He taught at Booker T. Washington and later at what became PVAMU, where he established the School of Nursing.

Paige Elementary– Dr. Rod Paige (1933-), who served on the HISD Board of Education from 1989 to 1994 and became the district’s superintendent of schools. He left the district in 2001 to become the first African-American to serve as U.S. secretary of education. 

Robinson Elementary School – Judson Robinson Jr. was Houston’s first African-American City Councilmember. He fought for minority hiring in the Houston Police Department and Fire Department.

Thompson Elementary School– Ruby Lockhart Thompson, a teacher and administrator, taught at Bruce Elementary School, served as principal of George Turner and Twenty-Third Street elementary schools, and became the district’s first Black female supervisor. 

Wesley Elementary School– Mabel B. Wesley was Houston’s first African-American female principal. She was the firstborn child of slaves on a plantation in Montgomery Count.

Whidby Elementary School– Tina Whidby was a prominent civic leader, teacher and principal for 25 years.

Young Elementary School– Ethel Mosley Young was an HISD educator who began teaching there when it was just a two-room schoolhouse. Under Young’s leadership as principal, the school became a thriving facility.

Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan– James D. Ryan (1872-1940) was an educator, civic leader and philanthropist who began teaching in Houston in 1890. He was principal of Yates High School from the day it opened in 1926 until his death. Ryan served as president of the Colored Teachers State Association of Texas.

Booker T. Washington High School– Washington (1856-1915) was an educator, author, orator and advisor to U.S. presidents. Born a slave, he worked his way through what is now known as Hampton University and was the first leader of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. 

Wheatley High School– Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784) was born in West Africa, sold into slavery and purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston. In 1773 she became the first African-Americanwriter to publish a book of poetry. 

Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center– Hattie Mae White (1916-1993) was elected to the HISD Board of Education in 1958 and became the first African-American elected to public office in Texas in the 20thcentury. She led the effort to desegregate Houston’s schools and returned to teaching after being defeated for a third term with HISD.

M.C. Williams Middle School– Rev. McKinley C. Williams was pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Acres Homes and a community activist. 

Carter G. Woodson PK-8 School– Woodson (1875-1950) was a historian and writer who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In February 1926, he introduced Negro History Week, which eventually became Black History Month.

Jack Yates High School– Rev. John Henry “Jack” Yates (1828-1897) was pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Downtown Houston, the city’s first African-American Baptist church. Yates was considered a pioneer in education and the ministry.