Location: 730 W 25th Ave (Lake County), Gary, IN 46407
Installed 2020 Indiana Historical Bureau, Lady Panthers & Supporters '63, Roosevelt Adult Booster Club, National Gary Theodore Roosevelt Alumni Assoc., Inc., and Indiana Landmarks
As Gary grew in the early 1900s, African American students were segregated within white schools or overcrowded into small, separate schools. To compensate, officials transferred some Black students to Emerson High School in 1927. After over 600 white students walked out in protest, the school board reinforced segregation by building a new school for the Black community.
Theodore Roosevelt High School was dedicated in 1931 as an all-Black K-12 school. While many community members opposed segregation, they took pride in Roosevelt, and strove to make it equal to Gary’s white schools. It employed highly educated Black teachers, pushed students to excel in academics and sports despite discrimination, and produced many distinguished alumni.
Education, African American