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John Hope School No. 26

John Hope School Side OneJohn Hope School Side Two

Location:1301 E. 16th St., Indianapolis (Marion County), Indiana 46202

Installed 2022 Indiana Historical Bureau, The Oaks Academy, Alumni and Friends of John Hope School No. 26

ID#: 49.2022.2


Side One

Amid Jim Crow segregation, School No. 26 was established in 1901, providing Black children with academic and vocational education. In addition to offering grades K through 9, the school served as a community center. Prioritizing inclusivity, School 26 welcomed youth with disabilities, migrants from Southern states, and adults deprived of educational opportunities.

Side Two

In 1922, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library opened in School No. 26 (renamed John Hope School). Directed by pioneering Black librarian Lillian C. Hall, the library served as a neighborhood hub for Black literature, culture, and history. Despite laws passed in the 1940s, desegregation of city schools like John Hope did not begin until the 1970s with mandatory busing.


Education & Library; African American