The Negro high school student: A study in Omaha Central high school (1935-1941)

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(1925— 1941)



Submitted in Rartial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Sociology of the Municipal University of Cteiaha


UMI Num ber: EP74348

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t a bl e of






IFTROtVCIIOH 1* Reason For Study * w 2 d Use Of School Records 3d Personal Record Cards 4u Annuals S « Ques t ionna ire

t '^-^s .

CULTURAL REVEL OBFEFT 1« The History Of The Negro Race 2^ The Hegro In The Building Of America 3® The Negroes In Nebraska

PROBLEMS OF THE NEGRO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT Tables lt» Occupation Of Parents 2m School© Represented Why Choose Central Ctfrricultan Courses Offered S« 1-Jmber of Negroes Taking (Curses Offered 4* I* Q ?Se 5* Age Of Entrance 6 © Age At Graduation 7© Number Of Semesters At Central 8 © Age Of Drop Outs And Transfers 9© Reasons for Dropping 10© Follow-up On Transfers To Other High Schools 11© Follow-UF On Transfers From Other Schools To Central 12© Type Of Occupations Of Prop Outs IS© Ratings Of The Negro Graduates 14® Ranking Of Graduates As To Hie Occupations Of Their Parents 15® J® Q® Ratings Of Legrc Graduates B o m In Nebraska As Coiup&red To Negroes Born Outside The State 16* Graduates Who Attended One Or More Sessions Of Summer School 17* A Study Of 1941 Graduation Class To DetermineThe Lumber Of Negro Students Entered As Freshmen And The Lumber Who Graduated with The Class As Coiapared To The School 18* Rating Of Students In School, Transfers To Other Schools And The Drop Outs


i 2 3 Z 3

5 0 3

IS 20 21 23 23 23 26 22 20 30 22 25 24 £2 36 37 38 40 41 42



samflikg of c m mmm&v families m rm frikcipal abea Tables 19* Principal Area 20* Occupations® And Sources Of*Income 21* Conditions Of Homes 22* Average Humber Of Children 25* Average Length Of Bsployment 24* Religious Affiliation 25* Church Membership Of The One Hundred Families

cma*mims 1* Questionnaire 2* Curricula 5* Appendix 4* Bibliography

51 52 55 54 55 66 5?


65 64 65 70

Reason far Stuchr 9/

There has been a need, for some time, for a study of the Negro student la a cosmopolitan high school*

First, to discover from the

standpoint of the X-Jegro whether he was 'being given the opportunities that should rightfully be his and also to determine to what eutent he is accepting his res pons ibilit ies•

Second, to find out if the

school was carrying out its part in providing the Negro with the propel’ subject matter and activities* There has been the thought among some people, both Ferro and whites, that the Negro child was allowed to attend the public schools but was limited in what he was permitted to take in the way of sub­ ject matter and participation in activities of the school#


the accompauying tables one will see that the Negro student in Central high School takes the subjects of his choice#

A Senior

Negro girl with whom 1 talked has the belief that one rets out of school what one puts into it#

She believes that the Negro student

at Central High School has an equal chance to do what he minis to do* She also stated that the Negro students who complain are of the lower social group who are in the habit of easily being disturbed*

l'r. ?•!*,

a leader in Negro work, says that "The Negro student in high school has the same opportunity as anyone else*

The reason he does not bake

part in school activities is that he h has elf is not interested* 11 The Negroes who attend Central high School of Omaha, Nebraska, represent one section of our city and chiefly the upper and middle classes of Negroes based unon social and economic conditions of that section*

This section lies principally between Cuming htreet on the

south, Finney Street on the north. Thirty-third Street on the vrcnt,

and Nineteenth Street on the east* Central High School was chosen for this study as it represents a typically American high eehool -where on*" finds, a good cross section of the different nationalities and races of people*

Also the students

of the school as a whole represent the various economic levels of our society from the lowest to the highest#

The Negro students wnc at­

tend Central Nigh School include typical cross sections of theis* people#

Since Central is principally a college preparatory high

school, it would seen to o'N'er an excellent opportunity to study the econov-dc, and educational classes of the Negro people# The names of the Negro students at Central High Cehool wore taken from the Permanent Record files*

This study deals ml if the total

number of Negroes enrolled over a aix-year period extending ;rom Be pi erib-er 3.331: to June 1941*

!fho total number 37b#

Use of Scjiool Records On fils in Central High School office are Permanent Record cards— one card for each individual who 3ms ever been enrolled in the nigh school#

K&oh card contains the cor.i;lete scholastic record of the

individual it represents 5 that is, what subjects were undertaken, what numerical grade vmr. obtained in each subject, what numerical scholastic ranking the individual attained who was graduated.# As the students graduate, the school makes a list, ranking the graduates according to the grades they have earned in their work atCentral*

An A grade is 3, B grad© is 2, C grade is 1, 13 grade is q 9

To obtain the ranking one adds all the iys together, all the B*g together, all the C*s together®

This sum total is then divided, by

the total number of grades -mde including the number of 1*8* grading ryrt o:: used at Central in the four-letter system*


£ *

30— 10(?% B S3 80— SSf-c, C *3 70— 79,*, j) * helereounl Record Card which m e

filed ‘be each

student soon after his enrollment in the high school©

this said con­

tains the irJVrmatica used concerning the liackgromid of the individual studied®

this material pcn'huine to the birthplace of the indivimial,

the birthplace cf the parents 0 a^d the esc-apat ion of tue parent© Annuals or Yearbooks ' •ach year the graduating class of Central high School 1ms pub— lislied a yearbook or annual*

Sons of those have been much more

cempreucneive tlian others, but all ei then lu.rr eontaincv.. &. complete record of the activities in which each graduating senior has partici­ pated*

This record also iiidicaeos aay honors which, the senior m y

li&ve won prior to his graduation©

A complete file- of these yearbooks

lias been kept in the office flics of the iULgh SGiiOOig aii1' V:.jCii6 1111'’““ uishod the basis for information concerning activities during the hji h school period® Q.UOSt ionna ire To each individual who )md cropped school before graduating, a quos oi^nmii © was p^rsoanli sis ted of two parts * sought information* been doing since?

x\ on

1his questiosmanra con—

The v>irst part was a question, and answer and Y.hat caused you to drop school?

Yfrmt have you

that do you suggest that the schools do to keep

the Negro student in school?

The second part of the questionnaire

proposed that the individual add farther suggestions or criticisms®

Thi8 was fairly successful, but some could not bo reached as they had changed tiioir addresses many times within the city and some had left the city© A follow-up was made of the graduates by making personal calls when possible, o r 'obtaining information from their friends® Ivexy student when he enrolls as a program card*^


at Central fills out what is Imcwm

contains the names of the mee appendix for frogr&ia card® I * 69 2o Sen appendix for Permanent Record cards*



They do not

«*£>«• t&ke, on an average# as h e a ^ a load, nor do they gone rally take the more difficult .subjects•

The Negro student is more satisfied just to ^

get by, which attitude is partially due to Ills environment®

A high

percentage of the Negro students drop out of school when they reach sixteen years of age® Culture 1 bovo 1oprnent The History of the Negro Race Nearly Asia®

all authorities are agreed -that early raan originated in

There wore four rsain divisions or races, namely, Australoid,

Negroid, Kongoleid, and Caucasian®


The Caucasian Race, which pop*

ulated tie northern Asia, migrated south ahead of the glacial period and were rescans i M e fcr pushing the black race or Negroids southeast into what is nor India and couth into Africa®

From tributes illustrat­

ed on the Theban monuments, that seme of the fugitives from Rgypt had prospered in the African interior, many barriers were raised against the ferroes, and they found themselves hemmed in. on all sides®


has been only within the last seventy-fIt o years that civilisation can be said to have secured a sure footing in the Interior and that we have been able- to estimate the effects of certainly seven thousand years in-breeding consequent upon the long segregation of the black people within their impossible 'boundaries» Thus we have a large group of people who became segregated by race and geographical boundaries from cf society*


people were later to become a part cf the most far-reach Rig race con­ flict in the western hemisphere® ^Robert Lourie— Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, p® b

m&Q*a the Kegro in iho Building of America The hegrc began his contribution in the early daye when hcatena I'arope moved to the "discovery* a^' exploration of the how horld.^ black men were with licnoiides, Balboa, Cortes:, lc Leon, be Soto, and others *

From 1527 to XBS3 Stephen. Dorantee tramped across a great

deal of what ie now the Southeastern and Southwestern parts of the united S tates *

Jean feint Fa Sable was the first pensaiieut resident,

the founder of the present city of Chicago*

there was one Fogro with

the howls and Clark expedition in 1CU4.* Few will deny the role of labor as the 'oasis of modern civilisa­ tion*

The involuntary gift of sosae two centuries of slave labor was

a tremendous contribution, dec pits tin; iilnur&suiity of cueh hueiau bondage* In suite of rcstr let ions L:*e.t were put upon ie iron time to time, the Slave Trade continued to flourish to the thus •*>!' i**& iuiorioan Revolution, when -or » time it ceased, only to leap into a iaorv vigor­ ous life at the close of who war*

At the beginning of the nineteenth

century there wore about 100,000 gainfully 'eupicyed black woii:erc« in 13-20, SB,000 retail merchants were doing a h m of - 101,000,000* There are apprcxKiismtely 800,000 farmers, one-fifth of whom arc owners* The great consumers * market is yet unorganised*

The- share-cropper and

the tenant-faraei’ are on the increase* The golden age of the kegro in politics cans during t^c ivocon— struction ant pash—Leconetruc11 on periods •

Like cue poorer whites of

the fehouth, the freedruen received, for the first thus, the general rights of the electorate* meats*

tome served in the- state and lc-ai govern—

iroa 1070 tc 1901 twonty—tttro held scats in toe liatiuaal

^L* b* Keddick, School-Society, February v 9 1941


Two of these, Hiram P. Reveals and Blanche &• I^ruce, were

senators * The constitutions of the roe onstru eted states wore liberalised, systems of public education were established, and great strides were mad© in social legislation® Through legal and extra-legal devices, the Negro was ultimately pushed out of politics*

This wholesale disfranchisement left him as a

negligible political factor until the 1 irst Vlorld Vs&r# European immigration was shut off* Negroes to northern cities began* expanding industries* 5n the new recions «

At that time

The great trek of the Southern They were answer inr the call of

They found me racial restrict5.ons on f-iffrape Accordinglv todnv the Negro vote in. sixteen

eta tea is strategic, if not decisive*

Also in many cities tie?: F'oyrc

vote is greatly desired as it will determine the elections» was and still is a growing tolerance in the border states *

There There are

Negro members in the legislatures in a. doaen states5 including Ken­ tucky, one Ifogro in the national Congress % and four Negro .1ud.gec in one city, Bew York* It was illegal to teach a slave to read or write, although scrae slaves surmounted this barrier*

Hence at the time of the l^nancipation

Proclamation, the vast majority were illiterate®

l-'-ven so* there appro&re

to have- been an insatiable thirst for knowledge*

The freedmar flocked

to the schools*

The Freedman*a Bureau of the federal government, the

American. Missionary Association, and private philanthropy united in setting up such schools as Fisk, Howard, Hampton® and Atlanta*


the aid of the state of Alabama, Booker T« eashington founded Tuskeye©* here lie was to elaborate a theory of education— Learxi by boing— *which

has become one cornerstone in the philosophy of American education. H e r oe

lie™r-o illiteracy in IS50 m s

only 16,5 per cent.


percentage of illiteracy in 1930 among Negroes in cities averaged abo\it 5*0 per cent,^

Kotwithstanding the disparities, there are today

2,000,000 Negro pupils in the southern schools alone*

There have

been 43,021 Negro college graduatesj some 200 have made Phi Beta Kappa, and an equal number have won the Doctor of Philosophy degree® The Negro church has always been more than purely a **religious institution” .

Yesterday and today the church met end meets a broad

social and recreational need, Underground Railroad, as for festival.

Some churches were stations on the

Others were meeting places for planning as well

Today there are 24 denominations with a total.

membership of 5,0C.h ,000, In fiction, poetry, art, and sports the Y'egro with liberty and education has achieved much* history of the last thirty-five years proves conclusively that the great mass of Kegro children can assimilate the ordinary education of the common s c h o o l s M r ,

Glenn, formerly Superintendent of Education

in Georgia, declares that ”tbe Negro is teachable and susceptible to the same kind of mental improvement characteristic of any other race*”7 The Negroes of Nebraska constitute, from an ethnic standpoint, or:o of the most sharply defined of all racial elements in the state# Several factors have operated in the preservation of their racial integrity.

The great majority of them came from the South, bringing

with them a common cultrre, heritage, arc mode of living*


settled in Nebraska, both social and economic motives directed t'vir EWorld Almanac end Book of pacts, 1942, p, SSI jJulia E, Johnsen— -The Negro problem, p* 161 ^Ibi Q— -Do 161


in relatively circumscribed districts©


proscription of inter-iaarriage, social and e©onomie discrimination, racial differences* and divergent living standards all comprise, however veiled, a none-'the-lese tangible barrier which to this day has held the Negro at a singularly lew level, as compared with other immigrant groups© while the early lack of leadership among the K©gross has retarded their development along many lines, yet, when they have had competent leathers, there has been, a lack of cooperation among the hegro nasces necessary for proper development©

3till it is unfair to assume that

the Negroes themselves are alone responsible for their failure to attain a higher status than that now assigned to thess.©

starting with

nothing but hope and doterm 1netion, sometimes almost aboriginally ignorant and unusually illiterate, they have oven thus handicapped taken enormous strides toward social and economic parity with the white race© Soon after their ©mancipation the necessity for earning a living in the field of competitive labor in the South* faced the erstwhile slaves• The development of the 'best, coincident with the disturbing economic upheavals in the South, attracted the attention of many of the diesatis fled free&mon© . /

Nebraska, with new industries springing up in the larger commun-

it 5es, attracted its share of the r,ortixward-bound Negro immigrants• Cfeiaha especially became the point where the majority of them settled mid established homes© ivjike a living©

There were jobs here for them, a chance to

The railroads wore pushing construction through the

4»10® use as strike-breakers* by the Union

-tieific railroad in 15771

1rr the smelting industry in 1880; by the packing, Industry in 1894j and by the Burlington Sailro&d in 1923®

After the strikes ended,

most of the etrike-breakers found more or lees permanent jobs in the particular industry in which they were involved® During the Nor la Viar the shortage of laborers, particularly in the packing; plants, becais© acute«

ry var—ous i^eacis, melulling' negro

newspapers and labor agents, aided by reduced fares offered by the railroad, Negroes in large numbers were induced to come from the South to Nebraska, where.they wore assured of steady work at good wagee « According to the 1940 Census, Omaha, Kebr&ske*e largest city, with a total population of 223,844, & ska * 6 hegroes, numbering 13,000©

has the majority or hebr-

The total Negro population of

Hebraska in 1940 was estimated at 15,000®

In 1930 It was 15,752,

with Ckiabe■claiming 11,123 or 80*9 percent, Lincoln 7*2 percent, and other scattered, localities* the Negroes in Omaha only 22*7 percent were born in Nebraska, wit:i most of the remaining 77*5 percent born in hlscourl, Tesas, Kansas, Alabama, Arkansas, and Oklahoma*^ In regard to size of families idie median in Nebraska, according to tlie 1330 Census, of total population was 3*40 persons*

The median

for Negroes was 2*41 percent© In comparisons to other races, the incomes reported by Negroes shew that 'their financial status as a group to be on the same lowlevel as that of their economic status in general*

In direct ratio

Sixteenth Census of the Jnlted States, 1940, ;:oprIf tion, hirst Cerias Number of Inna i>itants of JNebraska» p* 2 -v^oroe.m otate Planning Loard, Lebraaka’s bpulation, 1340 p, ig

••II*9 to their low income, the standard of living among Negroes of Nebraska is lower than that of any other group in the state*

/ /in keeping with their low economic status, the Incidence of hoiae ownership among 1'lebraska Negroes is low* s:>n their econom­ ic status *

Mortality empn.g the group is ecrceseively high In compari-

sen with the average mortality for all other races•

The high death

rate eeeuraeE a more aoioue aspect when one considers that, although their death rate Is greater than that of other races, in Nebraska their death rate is greater than their birth rate*


The high death

rate is due to marry factors, namely, working mothers, lack of paren­ tal car© of infants, delayed medication, quack doctors, congested living conditions and poor sanitation* The Negroes of Nebraska constitute a significant factor in the economic life of the statee

That the race lias made enormous progress

in its economic and social life since the first illiterate, unskilled er~s laves appeared in Nebraska is obvious 5 yet the ru * r e u ’v

. i - O

i . x



^ .ii.

i i o

x v x o

i *

problems, In juvenile delinquency, and in other directions®

Economic and Social Classes of Those Who Are in School, Loft, or Graduated Edward Franklin Frazier^ defines these economic and social classes as follows?

The upper class is composed of professional

people, proprietore, imnagere, officials, and clerks•

The §eeond

class or the middle class includes the skilled and most of the semi­ skilled workers and a majority of the female domestic servants.


lower class consists of unskilled laborers and m m y domestic workers• sinr brazier’s definition .as a guide, we find fhot Central students cone principally from the

middle or second group®

From the following table one can see the classificatIon according to tho principal occupations as listed by the students on their enroll­ ment cards,^ and the spread of tho students as to the ones in school, those dropped or left school, and those graduated® Table I Boys

First Class or Upper Class Kiddle Class lower Class

G irls

Ip. School












In School












1A v * Frazier, The Eegro at the Crossroads, pp® 23-28 *1 U See appendix for enrollment sard. p. 71

This table shows the pert triet the oeonomic anC social conditions of the htxae have in detoraining the type of school a Itends nee*


the following interview w ith hr® X *0 of the Omaha -orban League* can be shown the attitude of trie Irban League i m mr d the value of Central high Schools

*Xt is & good thing for cur people to go to Central in

that we meet and associate with a better class of people, and from this association obtain ideas which wo can adopt®

I know that s.

good many cf cur boys vrho have gone to Central are more particular about their personal appearance, have better behavior patterns* and are able to obtain jdbs because they are polite* courteous* and make a good impression*

They have higher standards of mo m i s and

decency because they realise the need for these t h ':ir:.s«

Young men

who have attended Central and are now^ married hove bettor ■e'lavod children and better home surroundings than -the average®

I think

they should attend college if possible as a College Education puts one on a higher .ecoacmic planej but if unable to go to college* a high School education can do ranch for one®” kitea asked if a better or higher social group of students attends Central than attend the other high schools* he reviled* t:J think that most of the people who choose to attend Central High School come from the better economic groups and naturally have better homes a no. live in the sections where they }iave better houses •**

Table II

Grade Schools

Schools Keprosented Boys In School Left Graduated

Howard Kennedy Long Lake Kellom Lcthrop Jackson Webster Franklin Central Walnut Hill Coraenius West Side Lincoln Dundee St® Benedict St. James Outside Qomha Tech Forth South 2 0 Schools

Girls In School HLeft




The grade schools which are represented in Central she*/ t-tfrfc the students who choose to attend Central live in the section that Hr® X® spoke of, and* according, to him represent a higher social and ©conces&c group.

The table on school r epresentation euoy'c t>iat

the great bulk of the students come from five principal public grad© schools with a scattering from nine other public grade schools * two parochial schools* and three other public high schools•

The large

transfer gro ip fro-m other high schools can be or plained by the fact that they are not able to adjust themselves and move to another school hoping for better associations, easier work* or a Native at iiirre,'t The Nation, Neb*



, 1941, p. IS 8

—EG— but they cannot expect any patronare from the Unites*

Here the white

man secs in the Megro the opportunity to look after hi?; own people aad to do the unskilled. Jobs for the whites • Belative to this scarcity of skilled mechanics, Hr* It, a 'promin­ ent loader among the Uogro people of Omaha, said that it is made very diffic- ..-.It for a Pegro student to tape an Industrial Arts course in the schools that specialise In this work*

Yet it is his conviction

that the negro can be Just as pood a mechanic as can a white pei'son* This opinion of hr* B. does not agree with the aptitude to t riven at Ora&ha Technical High School, according; to Hr* L* B* Porter, Principal* This to. t shoved the negro to rank very low In manuals and skil•s* Very few ever develo; to

a good mechanics , accord 'vg- to the fi ubinge

at Omaha Technical high School* Table 17 IKTP.IT..10 HI C

y VOT IlflT

Boys in School•««••••»•*99

Ciris in School*.».*«•••••«97

Boys Left* *••*••♦•••••* *34

Girls Left*«•«« ••••••«*••31

Boys Dropped•*»•*»*».•»«90 plus

Girls Dropped•••*••••••••61

'oys Graduated*•*•«*.***100

Girls Graduated•«.*»••«•103

Average of all boy*•••**108 students for school

Average of all y.irl**• **107 students for school

Using the


* Q* tests as a basis, the above chart would indicate

that the bogrcy students who stay in school until they graduate are the ones with the higher I* Q*s*, and therefore possibly Lave wore per— severence, better economic conditions at homo, one a greater desire for a college education* It would seem to indicate from this chart that the lower ranking.

Ifegrc student with less intelligence' drops out of school at an earlier stage in high school*

k factor which should also be- considered here

is that an improvement in status usually means an improvement in test score and that social and economic factors cannot be disregarded in ra cia1 comparie one• Another problem is that of limited background and experienoe#^0 Tlie child's contacts in the home and in the community are related to his ability to form the proper concepts of words and numbers*


deficiencies which Begro children exhibit In standardised tests and in high school work may be traced to a deficiency in reading and arithmetical processes, which may in tuns be traced tc e lack of experience- with things, processes, and people, according to Jennie £* Porter*^ in The Problem of Negro Education in northern end Border Cities*

The Negro has been branded as Inferior mentally, the results

of many psychological tests*

Many believe this apparent difference

due to dissimilar educational opportunities, training, and social and economic conditions, while others think there is a fixed native difference between the two races© ^Quant&tive studies based on various, kinds of tests show that a population of the same descent changes its reactions according to changes. In its environment* p ly


Otto Klineberg ° has shown that Negro children transferred from

^/jabroee Caliver, "Elementary Education of Negroes", Social Life, ^ M a y 1940, p. 245-247 ~ # — — 6*Jennie D* Porter, Abstract of Graduate Thesis in Education, rjrkTeachers College, University of Cincinnati, 1927-51, pp* 184-190 Franz Boas and others— General Anthropology, 1958, p« 122 ^s0tto Klineberg— Race Differences, 1934, pp® 186 ff«

-28— rural districts to Urban improve In the formal intelligence testa in direct ratio to the length o--' city life*

Those who have lived in

the city longest approach other city children In their perfon lance, ■while those newly arrived are decidedly Inferior® Prom this study one w ould believe that the social and economic conditions are affecting tc,some degree the


* Q. of the Teyro rtudonts

at Central* A


of Central graduates, according to the tests riven them,

Indicates that the findings of Klimfherg do not work out 'with, this particular group*

However, it does seem that possible the heroes

■who have migrated Into 0,mha and ■whose children arc In this class represent a more select group* Table 7

Ape of Entranoo 12

IS 14 15 16 17

years years years years years years


Boys Number in School Dropped or Trans fared 1




1 20 17 5 1


17 8

5 0 14*17


14 10 5 0



Girls 12

13 14 15 16 17 18

years years years years years years years



23 34 " 23 2 1 0



7 34 29 4 0 1 14*42


18 22 4 0 0 0 15*64

—29— The general average age of entrance of Negro boys is 14*53 years as compared to 14 voare for the general average age of the school* The general average age of entrance of Megro girls is 14*03 years as compared to 13*9 for t he general average of the school*

The general

average of entrance for the whole school was taken by averaging; trie entering Freshmen, class of 1940*

The higher ages of entrance into

high school from the grades by the negroes possibly could be explain­ ed by home and other environment*

Since nearly all children start to

kind orgarten at approximately the same age, these Fog rocs were prob­ ably retarded in .the grades*

Since 13ie adoption of the policy in the

Omaha School System of no fa? lures in thv. grades, a tendency to lower the average age of the entering high school hegrc student in the future should be apparent* The legro boys who dropped school wore three months older than the :.'egrc boys’ average, and six months cider that-the boys’ average for the whole school*

The Negro girls were four months older f a n

average entrance are of vegro girls and seven months older than the general average of the school* The age of graduation of the IJegro students is higher than th© average of the school as the following, table ©hows* Table VI AOg


G !T d d A f X O f

Hegrc B o y s * ****18 yrs* 4 mo* Negro Girls***********17 yrs*



School——boys*«**••*«•*17 yrs *


mo *

School— G





*17 yrs« 2 mo*

«*3Q«* In Central it seems that the average


student must take a

longer time 'to do the necessary work for graduation as compared the average of the school®

Many of the


do take




in the summer sessions of school or take one or two extra semesters to finish the work*


Kill , 2 4 .principal of Central High School,

stated that it seemed to be necessary at Central for the legroes to spend extra time in order to complete •


This condition

is probably due to the lack cf proper hose conditions, indueive to good study, lack of parental interest, and an inclination tc do as littlo as

to get by*



P o r t e r , 25

0 f Technical High

School, made a similar statement concerning the hegro students of SCiiOol®



Humber of testers

OF BimSTEB^ A?TlhlZh BKFOfcE LEA Vim* C E i m V L

Transfer to Drops Tech



2 5 4 5

Transfer to South

Trans fer to Barth

Boys i

Transfer to Other





2 3











































7 7 3 3





1 0

2 3


3 4 5

7 % S
























‘h r ©&


‘V m r i g h t

- Principal, Central High





School, High

Omaha, XvebrcuHa




«3i» The large msaber who drop completely from school or become die** satisfied and transfer to another school do sc early in their high school course as they are unable to adjust thesiselves to new s urround­ ings, have perhaps boon misinformed with respect to courses offered or have lacked encouragement from their parents tc re-main in school® The findings in this table would leaf one to belicvo that the largo numbers quit school as soon as they reach sixteen years# 1

Also their

* Vi’s# wore somesshat lower than the average Negro student’s as seen

'by the- table on X* Q# ratings•

The transfer from Central or an­

other school in the early semesters of their high school careers should be to their advantage as they could mere easily adjust them­ selves to the new school, its curriculum, and its social environment! but this advantage is not taken as is shown on Table Fill ««* the follow-ups on the transfer students®

It is rather difficult to ascer­

tain the finding for the school as a whole as the m a y white parents work causes them to be transferred out of the city® that the percentage than the white#

It mr.ild seam

of Ilegro drops and transfers is not much more


Boys Are




4 *k lb

16 X*




7 1

1 0

isirm 0 5 20 14 10 4


lb lo 17 18 19

4 18 lo 3 3 0

While this table shows that four boys and five girls dropped school at the age of fifteen years, there are several explanations® Our school records may not have en accurate check upon whether a student transfers or drops if this should occur during: the summer vacation, period.

Many students drop school a few days or weeks before

they have actually attained their sixteenth birthday,

however, tho

number of those on the previous chart who show "dropped* at fifteen years of ape is rather small* ^Therefor© it is it

has been harder for a young girl to obtain work than it is for a boy* The younger ayes of the transfers wo Id seem to indicate a lack of ability or interest to adjust, therefore they tip* another school. These apes are also comparable to the drops and transfers of the school as a w;ole®

Table IX FOLLOm-UF OH THE 88 STFBiiKTC WiO ™ h l HECCKFSD AC IIX'HTP OH TEB FOHOOL’S lahiQITS leasoas for Dropping













Ivoved from City





To 3'Irtish School out of City






L, C


graduating students, A « 3, f ~ 2,

1, and b s 0# therefore, all the grades the has made

are added up and divided by tne total number of subjects ho has taken and his rank is determined*

It will he noticed that the

negro boys arc much lower than the general average of the school, while the hegro girls are just slightly below© The -Senior class arc asked each semester if they expect

to go

to college or university after they finish high school© from this list 22 of the 12 Hegro boys who graduated signified the preference for college©

The ranking of these boys is siightly

higher than the average for all the negro boys who have ,•radiated or 1*30, but still lower than the average of the school*

The Hegro

girls shovred a preference for college of 2 8 out of 54 graduates• Their ranking was 1*55 as compared to 1*76 for all girls®

G*-'1 Table -XIV 56 or BCYS AI4 : ■ 01515 CKAIb/Xh' fib Thu OCCIHXTIOKS 05 Tv Hank

Parent Occv.p&i Ion


Parent Occuput:

Boys 1*35 1.59 1.59 1*59 1.58 1*57 1*55 1*52 1*50

1.49 1*49 1*48 1*47 1*4-6 1*45 1*^-4 1 «.•u 1*86 1*55 1*55 1*55

Cook Minister Tltiiter Laborer Dorter


Housewife Porter 1*32 Butcher 1.30 Policeman 1.28 feamstreas 1*23 Porter 1.19 Maid 1*18 Baker 1.17 Af-* ?■>u i/■fk. -::©rro has*

While many of the hogro parents ere very much inter­

ested In the opportunities for thoir children in school, nevertheless, tinere is not very much social and cultural heritage from which to draw*

Since nary students coniric to high school are lac'd

in high

social and cultural environment it would necessarily be difficult for thru to atts m

very high rankings*

This agrees with Edwin If* Shelley^® In a study of 1,086 hoys at South High School, Otttaha* k-ebraska*

In this study completed

June, 1938* he says, "A study of the occupations in Itself appears to have very little effect on the grades of the sons©” Crawford^® reports from white study, ”Scns of professional people do slightly better than the cans of businessmen, intxlli: enc-e

r hirevr!;••• ^ . 4 . U U * U i irfi.O-..'


A llf

*£*■ •'■> / ’AT V .sV*li* C


* A*•lii"

Oi' xiia fuOiiS

ixc>2^ hOWOGt .54

In school

Highest 2.44

Avera| 1.10

A #bV






4XX *l4^aiC^OjL


O *>*1 7 4*,j




cv & f.i#



** rn


Trans fora crops

C j.1*Is




The ratings of these Kegra students in Table XV7!II were deters wdned W

the esese method employed in Table XXIX.

One will note that

the begro students in Table XYIil are much lower in rat frig than the graduates In Table XIXI*

Cf the number remaining In school, m a y

of them haire no definite plan for the future | therefore they do as

C j.

little as possible*

Transfer aim drop out groups represent & m&lad-*

uotea group. Due to lack: of ability to adjust, they either drop

out or transfer to another school where they hope things will be less . I d a - v


It will be noted tliat the average of the boys in school

-aa v0 points higher than the transfers and lb points higher tiian the cirop Outk. &

u-ii*o c-cys

#*!!•*£ciiOO-t civcj.m e m

girls * in-sohoel group.

C gom/us rower 11 ^^ who

The girls in school &r© 24 points higher

idi&a the girl transfers, and 2 : J points higher than the drops • ij«v* cxass s.V6i*&£6 oi. uiie rb'ii gracuabos was X«B t•

Activities The Xegro ,eindent at Centra! high. School has the opportunity tc participate in all the various activities within the school. 'upon checking, one finds that they more or less limit theory elves tc- a relatively few activities«

The girls take part- in athletics,

choir. Girl reserves, Stamp Club, student Control, hotor riub, LIbr&ry Honitors, 'Speakers5 Burfeau, and Junior fed Cross.


boys take part izi athletics, Boys* 0-Club, choir, orchestra, band, let*is Club, Senior play, Library monitors, Junior Bed Cross, Speakers5 Bureau, Bead Showy Fn 0* T*> 0*, Opera, and Yoter Club* They aeem. to do much better and take a more prominent part in music; and in athletics , U m . L



•'•■/■*»b *4 ©

i 9

S4th Stra 19th«24th St-** Grace—Miami Under the conditions of the homes* the above class ification of "below average"* "average" 9 and "above average" is based upon, the standard of the Negro people® This table also shows the number of homes In each district occupied by the owners and the number by renters •

It is interesting

to note the correlation between the home ownership and above- average ranking®

Ownership gives a certain feeling of perraanency and pride

which probably helps to account for the difference®

-64“ :: it.::-. o f -c e i u h i 'e f ee ?i&iLY


ACCORDING TO SECTIONS Forrbenelle Homes***** •*•*•« •»«««e«««••*2 2/7 19th to 23rd St*., Paul to Cuming*••»•**2*5 26tli. uiimixiy

t r e e t ^ «>«•*>«•«««»•«»«««(&

XlfUSiltOil StrS©t»

••4 4:/?

Franklin Ltroet* ***•*•*•«>*»•**»•«** .***2 C/lO Long SoliOOl ««««•*•* e*««•*«*«**»** a***«*3 26tli to 30th St*, Lake to Burdette*****3 plus Lest side 30th St*, Lake to llaplc****•*2 *0 24t*i to

26x>E., Lake *co Grant* ***** ** «*» *4

24th to

26th, Lake to Lpencer.«®.*«****©S*5

26th to

30th, Lake to Spencer*«• **•** **4

i/ru3.d will*a***********•••**«•**•***•**3 Lociast St*, 13th to 24th Street******* *2 Grace to Fiaml, 13th to 24th***********2*6 Of the parents who answered this part of the questionnaire concern­ ing the amount of yheir education— 10 parents were college educated 46 parents were high school graduates 52 parents were grade school graduates I^Total Twenty-six families indicated little concern for education in general, or for their children*

In the Druid Hill section where the

lower economic group lives, only one out of the seven families had any interest in schools*

This, however, is the section where only

-66one set of parents had any education above the school level* These families indicated to the interviewer that their was an econom­ ic problem .as it was necessary for the child •to -get a job as soon as possible, which necessity affected, their schooling* Table XXIII AVSEAG1 LENGTH OF m ' H A W I M : AT THE HtKSEHT JOBS earth of ^mrXovment

Areas Fontenelle Homes

6 year©

19th to 23rd St*, Haul to turning

4 years

25th Cuming Street

5 years

Hamilton Street

15 years

Franklin Street

7 year©

Long School

xo year©

26th to 30th St©, Lake to Burdette

?•# years

West side 50th St *e Lake to I

x year

24th to

26th, Lake

to Orant

24th to

26th, Lake

t-c Spenoer

10 year©

26th to

50th, Lake

to Spencer

10 year©


Druid Hill

4 year©

Locust St*, 19th to 24th Street

5 year©

Grace to Miami, 19th to 24th

t years


would seem

that the people


been employed

for a shorter period


better areas*

Hi Is is probably due to poor health and a lack of in*

eentive to better their economic and social standards*






Fontenellc Hemes




19th to 23rd St*, Paul to Cuming




25th Cuming Street




Hamilton Street




Franklin Street




Long School




26th to 30th St*, Lake to Burdette




West side 50th St*, lake to Ha pie




24th to 26th, lake to Grant




24th to 26th, Lake to Speneer



26th to 30th, Lake to Spencer




Druid Hill




Locust St*, 19th to 24th




Grace St*., to Miami, 19th to24th





Almost the onlv thing that the ilegroes have from their original culture patterns has been. their religion*

One reason why certain

religions are more popular with the Negro than others is that some sects allow the colored people to have a more emotional outlet, which is a carry-over from the trioal patterns*

All denominations in this

country tried to establish their religion with the Kegroes, but many of them were not successful because of the fact that they would not modify their church doctrines to suit the needs of Degrees *


fact is also brought out in this interview of the one hundred families

—57— as the above chart shows®

All but three families claim affiliation

with some religious sect*

It is interesting, however, to note that

only four out of the one hundred families claim membership in the Catholic Church®

The Zion Baptist and the St* Johns M® L* Church

claim the largest membership®

fable XXV chuecb m m m m m r

of tef omf hundeet families iiClKiwiiled

St* Johns Mm E*




2ion Baptist


Bethel Baptist


S e w n Day Adventist


St* Mark Baptist


Pilgrim Baptist


Christ Temple


Bethel A* M® E*


Church of Living Cod


St* Phillip Episcopal




Clives Temple


God of Christ


Mr* Moriah Baptist


Morning Star


Salem Baptist


Living. God


St* Benedict


Paradise Baptist


Glare Chapel A* U» E®


lit® Calvary Baptist


Pleasant Green Baptist


Prom this table it would seem the Methodist and Baptist denomin­ ations to predominate*

Of the one hundred families who answered this

part of the questionnaire, 18*4 percent indicated a preference for the St* Johns F* E* Church, 16*5 percent indicated preference for the lion Baptist Church, 8*2 percent indicated preference for the Seven Day Adventist Church, 8*2 percent indicated a preference for the

Pilgrim Baptist, 6*4 percent indicated a preference for the ^©thel Baptist A* H* 1U Church*, The remainder msre,scattered among a number of churches*


—59— Summery - Conclusions - Rec ommendat icns These conclusions were deduced from the mrioug types of date studied* X©

They are also limited according to the data studied*

The economic and social conditions of the home have a dote m in ing influence upon the school interest of the child*


Uost of the students coxae directly from five principal grade schools*


The Begro students choose Central High School for social reasons*


General high school course is the most popular with the Negro students as it gives them general training®

ilia Kegro students* I» Q*s*, rank lower than the average of' the school®


The entrance age of the Negro student Is slightly higher than the school average*

The graduation age of the Negro student is slightly higher than the school average®

The students who leave Central before graduating do so during the early years of their school attendance*


The students who transfer do so at an earlier age than do those who drop*


The smladjusted student transfers to another school while those who drop it would seem to do so for financial reasons*


Those who drop school work at the occupations of lower econom­ ic Income than do those students who graduate from hirh school*


The type of occupation of the parent lias very little if' any bearing upon the grades that the student earns in school*

«.30** IS*

?»©gro students who attend Sumner School do so

for taro reasons t

because they need to make up work and 'because the courses are less exacting than during the regular school*

In proportion to

their numbers, only l/s of *recliiaan Uegro-ec finally graduate who entered as -^rashmen*

The average for the whole school

is 2/S of the Freshman entrants graduate* 14©

The attendance record of the negro students is below the average of the school#


The Kegro students rank lower in scholastic attainment than the average of the school©

Of the three groups—in school, crops,

and transfers-the transfers are the lowest# 1G«

The Kegro students limit themselves to a relatively few activities «


The people who own their own homos take saore pride in the home and a larger percentage are found in the "above average* class­ ification©


The sampling oj* one hundred, families shows that the average number of children per family is 3*2 plus*


The better the living conditions of the family* the longer the period of employment©


The Begro people from their original cultural patterns have been rel i;r1eras*

21* 22©

The Begro people are mostly Protestants ® The Kegro showed a preference for the Baptist and Pethodist denominations «


A realisation of a need for more scientific case studies of

our Hegr© students to aid. in better understanding them* that the curriculum* counseling* and guidance programs, extra-curri-* cnilar activities, and general educational plan might be adjusted to meet moot of their needs* 24©

A realisation of the urgent need for a vocational guidance program in high school©


Economic problems are an important factor in determining the amount of education the Negro child receives*


The Negroes should take a realistic attitude and be willing to study the subjects in high school that would prepare them for the limited occupations that are open to them*

There would be

some exceptions for the few mho show exceptional abilities* These are permitted to. study for professions* taking the courses necessary to prepare them for their chosen profession* 27*

A consciousness of the place that family and racial background play in determining the present achievements and future out­ look for Negro students* ^



K realisation of the need for and the value of social research as an important part of our educational system®


There should be a better understanding of the home life,and conditions of the Negro by the teacher if he is to make a proper adjustment® ~


Since the Negro people are nearly all found in the lower brack­ et of our economic scale* it seems that the public school mustlead in a program to better the social and economic conditions* The Negro children coming to school with a low type of family

*»62« heritage must of necessity look to the schools for any social patterns that will benefit therssrelires«

One reason a former

Negro student gave in cor.irxg to Contra! was to be able to associate, in a small way*, with the i^hito students of the upper social group c

our society®

This small association

gave her a feeling of importance when she m m

in her m m group.,

in that she eculd say, ”1 know her*, or# *1 am in a certain class with her1'« 32®

A re&lisat5.on that the Hegro has t place in our social order® That the Hegro isnst study himself and his people in order to aid him in adjusting to society®

He would thus learn that the

greatest goal of his attainment would be the work and profess­ ions that the white and Negro people will support®




t m