Thursday, May 06, 2010

Life and Legacy of Dr. Arthur Harold Parker

Industrial High School staffA Dream That Came True!
Local Organizations Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Arthur Harold Parker

Born to former slaves in Ohio, Arthur Harold Parker always knew that an education was the key to success. After his college plans failed, Parker traveled south to Birmingham where an uncle encouraged him to take the teacher’s exam. In 1887, he became the thirteenth African American teacher in the Birmingham City School System. When Birmingham’s black community petitioned the Board of Education for its own school in 1899, Parker would be tapped as the principal. The request led to the opening of Industrial High School in September 1900. This undertaking was indeed “A Dream Come True!”

During the week of May 3 -7, several local organizations will come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Arthur Harold Parker. The groups include the Metro Birmingham Branch NAACP, the Smithfield Preservation Committee and the Birmingham Public Library. Events slated for the week include an essay and oratorical competition for students of Wilkerson Middle and A. H. Parker High Schools; a birthday celebration complete with cake at two local libraries; an online exhibition created by the Birmingham Public Library; and a community program organized by the NAACP.

Arthur Harold Parker made significant contributions to education and the Birmingham community. In 1933, Miles College conferred upon Parker an honorary degree—the Doctor of Humane Letters. Upon Parker’s retirement from teaching in 1939, Industrial High School was renamed A. H. Parker High. Over the years, enrollment continued to increase—from 18 students in 1900 to 3,761 in 1946. With this steady increase, the school soon became known as the largest high school for blacks in the world. Today, the “Thundering Herd” is known for its outstanding academics and boasts well known alumni from across the country.


Dr. A. H. Parker Birthday Celebration Activities

May 3-May 7, 2010
Essay and Oratorical Competition
Competition for students at Malachi Wilkerson Middle and A. H. Parker High Schools.
Based on Dr. Parker’s Book, A Dream Come True
Contact the Metro Birmingham Branch NAACP for information at (205) 714-5860.

May 7, 2010
Birthday Cake and Celebration at the Birmingham Public Library (Central Location)
Join us for birthday cake, good folks and good fun!
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
2100 Park Place (Atrium)

May 7, 2010
Birthday Cake and Celebration at the Smithfield Branch of the Birmingham Public Library
Join us for birthday cake, good folks and good fun!
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
#1 Eighth Avenue West

May 7, 2010
Birmingham Community Salute to Dr. A. H. Parker
Birmingham Public Library
Central Library—Arrington Auditorium
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
2100 Park Place
Contact the Metro Birmingham Branch NAACP for information at (205) 714-5860.

1 comment:

Ondrej from Good Books to Read said...

I just love the stories of Afro-Americans overcoming their unjust conditions and fulfilling their dreams.