African American Public Education

African American Public Education (HM26EF)

Location: Natchez, MS 39120 Adams County
Buy Mississippi State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 31° 33.458', W 91° 23.551'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Natchez Trails

The Union School (above) was the first public school built by the City of Natchez for African American students. Built in 1871 by contractor P. E. Willman, the Union School was a grand brick edifice which stood at the southeast corner of North Union and Monroe Streets. It was demolished in the 1950s. I am writing these last paragraphs in Natchez, where I have come to deliver the Commencement address at the school [Union School], with its 1200 students, and am now in the beautiful home of Professor Brumfield, the principal. I spoke before a representative audience of white and colored citizens in the same hall [Baker Grand Opera House] where Booker T. Washington was entertained upon his last visit to the city. William Henry Holtzclaw, The Black Man's Burden, 1915George Washington Brumfield (above, young and old) was born in 1866 in Yazoo County, Mississippi, and moved to Natchez in the 1890s. For more than 25 years he was principal of the African American schools of the city including the Union School, pictured at left. In arguing for construction of 1925 Brumfield School, the school board noted that the Union School for African American children had only 13 rooms and housed 948 children with as many as 120 children crowded into a single room. George Brumfield married Fannie Fisher, daughter of

carpenter Joseph Fisher, who worked on the early - 1900s restoration of the historic mansion Melrose. He lived off Rembert Street in the St. Catherine Street neighborhood. Brumfield's obituary in 1927 credited him as having developed the "colored public schools of this city to a point of efficiency that measures up to the highest standards." The chairman of the school board eulogized Brumfield by noting that it was largely due to his efforts and the esteem in which he was held that the new Brumfield School was built.The class of 1927 posed on the front steps of Brumfield School. Built in 1925 at a cost of $75,000, the school was designed by local architect William Steitenroth and built by contractors Ketteringham and Lawrence. During racial segregation Brumfield was a social center for the African American community. Its auditorium hosted performances of jazz musicians including Lazander Kinds, Joe Jennings, Robert Hinds, and Robert Granville. Brumfield closed in the 1980s and was later rehabilitated as apartments.For about 12 years [after Rhythm Club Fire] we didn't have a band in the black high school because there wasn't a band director. My father [Assistant Principal T. M. Jennings] started coaching athletics in the high school...because the coach was gone....Natchez's fire wiped out a large number of educators.Ralph Jennings, The History of Jim Crow, 2006The Brumfield band stands on the front steps of the school in the late 1930s. Band director Woodrick McGuire, dressed in white, was one of the 209 casualties of the 1940 Rhythm Night Club fire.Brumfield High School became an elementary school in the mid-1950s when the new Sadie V. Thompson High School opened for African Americans.
HM NumberHM26EF
Series This marker is part of the series
Placed ByCity of Natchez
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, March 29th, 2018 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 652568 N 3492524
Decimal Degrees31.55763333, -91.39251667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 33.458', W 91° 23.551'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 33' 27.48" N, 91° 23' 33.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 90 St Catherine St, Natchez MS 39120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?