Public Education for Blacks in Galveston
2626 Avenue M, Galveston, TX (Directions)
One of over 200 historical markers on the island, this marker is at the location of the third high school for the black community. The marker was erected in 1977 by the Texas Historical Commission.
“Attempts to open public, tax-supported schools in Galveston after the Civil War (1861-65) were delayed by yellow fever and lack of funds, but in 1881 the school board devised a sound system of free public education. This included classes for black children in two rented locations, called the East Broadway Colored School and Barnes Institute. A year later, the system was revised on geographic lines, with an east district and a west district school. In 1885, Central High School for blacks opened in rented quarters at 16th and Avenue L. From 1889 to 1893 it was housed at 15th Street and Avenue N.”
“Leading architect Nicholas Clayton was then engaged to design a structure for this site. Built especially for Central, it was the pride of the community. In 1905, Central was chosen to house a branch of the Rosenberg Library. The school building was enlarged in 1924. The school itself was relocated in 1954, and phased out by integration in 1968.”
“Central High School was a cherished institution in the Galveston black community. This third campus of the high school, a site rich in traditions and history, was rejuvenated in 1976 as a cultural center.”