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1907: “Colored” St. Louis School Principal Misquoted by the Press

September 16, 2011 Downtown, Featured, History/Preservation, Media, Public Transit No Comments
ABOVE: Dumas Public School was located on Lucas just west of 14th, all razed when 14th was extended to Washington. 1909 Sanborn map via UMSL Digital Library (click image to view source)

In researching the Dumas Public School, razed long ago, I came across an interesting tidbit about the school’s principal, Arthur D. Langston. The following appeared in the New York Times on December 8, 1907:

Colored School Principsal Advises His Race — Corrects Statement.

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 7. – Prof. Arthur D. Langston, Principal of the Dumas Public School of St. Louis, in addressing the Missouri Negro Republican League delegates here a few days ago, was erroneously reported as having said that  “no negro should occupy a seat while a white woman stands, and dirty negros should not be allowed on the street cars at all.”

In his address Prof. Langston said: “Colored people and whites associate more intimately in the street cars than in other places; therefore, it becomes a matter of great importance that we conduct ourselves properly in “every way on street cars.  Let the negro make the white man ashamed by never occupying a seat while a lady is standing.”

Wow, huge difference between the two! Mr. Langston (1855-1908) died the following April at the age of 52, he is buried in Nashville TN.

– Steve Patterson


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