Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Matthew D. Davis, PhD


Lynn Beckwith, Jr. Ed.D.

Carl Hoagland, Ed.D.

Claude D. Weathersby, Ph.D.


In the history of the United States, the Midwest, in general, and Missouri, in particular, has had a complex role concerning issues of race. For example, St. Louis was the site for the 1857 Dred Scott Case, which determined those of African ancestry could never become citizens. Fast forward to the 1940s and ‘50s and Missouri, as well as the rest of the United States, is still divided by race and largely segregated. As an African American man, Arthur L. Washington, would not be satisfied with the culture of the day. Born December 14, 1917, Washington envisioned the world with unlimited opportunities and diligently prepared for a lifetime of challenging the status quo. He pursued excellence until his death on April 2. 2001. Washington was studious and athletic. As an educator, he was a teacher, coach, mentor, and administrator. He served the country in the segregated U.S. military and earned honors and awards. He returned to St. Louis to pursue his profession at his alma mater, Sumner High School. Washington’s story is as much about the richness of the history of this school as it is about the man who devoted his life to its persistence and growth. The researcher cannot tell Washington’s story without also sharing the history of this institution. Additionally, there were many who effected change in a similar manner. The researcher highlights three analogous lives in this study. Ray Crowe of Indiana, and Jodie Bailey and James Price of St. Louis, to name a few, must also be credited with making gains on the basketball courts that would have far-reaching influence in their communities.

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