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33 Dunbar graduates from the class of 1946. Left: W.H. Hudson, 9th Grade teacher. Right: Morgan Maxwell, principal.

The Dunbar School was the first and only segregated school in Tucson established in 1912. The school was completed in January 1918, for the purpose of educating Tucson's African-American students and named after Paul Lawrence Dunbar, a renowned African-American Poet. African-American children in first through ninth grades attended Dunbar until 1951, when de-jure segregation was eliminated from the school systems of Arizona. When segregation in Arizona was eliminated, Dunbar School became the non-segregated John Spring Junior High School, and continued as such until 1978 when the school was closed permanently


The Dunbar Coalition, Inc. purchased the building from Tucson Unified School District in 1995, and is undertaking the task of renovating the school and converting it into an African-American Museum and Cultural Center. The renovation will preserve the historic building while creating a center to house artifacts and memorabilia that document the contributions African-Americans made to the development of the Great Southwest. In addition, the center will increase opportunities for cultural expression among both youths and adults in the Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood, as well as the entire city.

The Dunbar Project  Tucson, Arizona 2008-2016

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