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Honoring Black History Month - H.G. Temple High School

Monday, February 08, 2021

In celebration of Black History Month 2021, The History Center will draw attention to several of its collections that help to tell the story of African Americans in Angelina and the surrounding counties.

The second featured topic is African American education and schools. For the African American communities in Diboll and the surrounding areas, the local school was the heart of the community, providing a focal point for community activities.  

Diboll’s African American school was H.G. Temple school, named upon accreditation in 1942 after Southern Pine Lumber Company Henry Gresham Temple. This online exhibit tells the school’s story and shares photographs of its students and teachers. Additional online resources include a graduation invitation and a basketball photograph. The HG Temple alumni association is still active, and several of its directories and programs can be found in our online resources here.

Oral histories are also an excellent source of African American school history, as well as stories about the racial integration of local schools. Some voices to listen to on these subjects include Minnie Jones, siblings Laverne, Clay, James, and Thomas Joshua, Willie Massey, Gloria Massey Toran, and James Rhone.

An earlier African American school led by J.W. Hogg is featured in the American Lumberman Collection and can be seen in the exhibit and downloaded from the online collections.