Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1922-1967

Historical Marker #2538 celebrates the history of the original Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington. 

During the era of segregated education in Kentucky, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School became one of the leading academic institutions for black students in the state. Named for the famed black poet, Dunbar provided quality education to its students and served as a focal point for the black community of Lexington. While Dunbar, like black high schools across the country, struggled with inadequate state funding compared to schools for white students, the faculty and community did everything in their power to ensure that the school provided the best education possible. Dollars might have been hard to come by, but dedication, support and high expectations were always in avalible at Dunbar High School. 

The value that Dunbar Alumni place on their education was clearly in evidence from the size and enthusiasim of the crowd on hand for the dedication. The audience gathered on the gymnasium floor, site of fond athletic memories, to hear remarks on the history of Dunbar and the significance of the historical marker. Speakers included Mrs. Tava Clay, a fomer counselor at Dunbar, Dr. Andrew Patrick of the Kentucky Historical Society, Superintendent Emmanual Caulk of Fayette County Public Schools, Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington, and a moving dedication address from State Representative and Dunbar Alum Mr. George A. Brown, Jr.

The marker was dedicated on April 20, 2018.

It reads:

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, 1922-1967

The first school for black
Kentuckians to be accredited by 
the Southern Association of
Colleges and Secondary Schools.
One of only eight public high 
schools in the thirteen southern 
states to secure this standing
in 1930.
Presented by the 
Dunbar Alumni Association