In 1905 the first school for African American children was opened and class was held
in a Baptist church. Education was highly prioritized in the African American community
in Tulsa. In 1910 Tulsa county had the lowest African American illiteracy rate of any county in
the state and more than 3/4 of African American school aged children attended school.
In 1913 E.W. Woods (Ellis Walker Woods) arrived in the Greenwood district after seeing a flyer (while at the time
residing in Memphis Tennessee) proclaiming the urgent need for African American teachers
in a place called Oklahoma. Mr. Woods was very well educated having earned his masters
degree in government at Rust college in Holly Springs Mississippi.. In the same year that
Mr. Woods arrived (1913) in Tulsa a four story school building had just been erected at
the corner of Elgin ave. and Easton street that school was named Booker T Washington High School.
Mr. Woods went on to become the principal for 35 years. Mr. Woods took education and discipline serious
as well as he did the same for respect and formality. He insisted that students used correct grammar
and that they recite 150 words of poetry or passage of Shakespeare each day. He promoted leadership
and responsibility and discouraged excessive socializing about anything outside of education or conversation that
contained no substance or value while students were in attendance . Education along with the teachings of religion and business
were the pillars of strength and pride and were significant for the continued growth, development and
success into the future for African Americans. (Stay tuned for the next post)

The first Booker T. Washington High School located at 326 N. Hartford Ave
The second Booker T. Washington High School located at 507 E. Easton Street
The third Booker T. Washington High School at 1631 East Woodrow Place (Current)

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