Origins of Crispus Attucks HS
Crispus Attucks High School is a testament to the tenacity of the Black community in Indianapolis. While the rest of the US was slowly but surely integrating its schools, Indiana was still largely under the influence of the Ku Klux Klan.
City officials set to work drafting the blueprints to what was originally to be called Thomas Jefferson High school, but was changed to be named after another American hero. Crispus Attucks was a formerly enslaved man and is known widely as the first person killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770, which would then lead to the Revolutionary war.
The school was meant to sequester and limit the students – however with the combination of staff, students and community the school became an example of Black excellence. Alumni would go on to become famous musicians, army generals, and state representatives.
The creation of the Center for Black Literature & Culture is made possible thanks to a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.