Pieces of Our History: School Programs at Natchitoches Training School and St. Matthew School in 1944

by Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Today’s piece of our history is once again drawn from the superb Melrose Collection of NSU’s Cammie G. Henry Archives and Research Center. They are programs from school plays put on in 1944 by the students of St. Matthew Junior High School in Natchez and the Natchitoches Training School in Natchitoches, two African-American schools of the parish in the Jim Crow era. The still familiar family names in the program as well as the names and businesses in the advertisements are a window into our past that stretches into the present day.

These schools may have been modest in size and resources, but it is obvious to anyone looking at the programs that they held high expectations for their students. Schools like these kept the flame of hope alive in a most difficult era. We owe a great deal to the men and women who taught there over the years.


2 thoughts on “Pieces of Our History: School Programs at Natchitoches Training School and St. Matthew School in 1944

  1. My parents taught at Natchitoches Parish Training School , Doris and Frank Martinez, and my Uncle at
    St. Matthew. Carroll Balthazar. I stand as a living witness to the great contribution that both institutions made to that part of our world, under most difficult circumstances .Thank you for the wonderful
    recognition.

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