Dunbar High School 

Dunbar High School 

Mission Statement...



Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. is one of the oldest black high schools in America.  Dunbar, which officially opened in 1916, emerged as a trio of prominent schools that sprung out of the Preparatory School For Colored Youth, which first opened its doors in 1870.   Dunbar is noted for producing some of the top African-American educators, doctors, scholars, politicians and business entrepreneurs in the country.  Six of its alumni are featured on U.S. postage stamps for their lasting legacies.  Dunbar students received rigorous training that helped them excel in almost every field.  Their education didn’t stop at Dunbar, as many of its graduates went on to college. In 1950, 80 percent of its students attended college.  By the 1980s, that number had dwindled as Dunbar, like many urban schools, was affected by desegregation, economics and changing demographics, which hindered its ability to retain its prominent status.  In 2013, a new Dunbar High School was built.  Today, Dunbar is working to regain its stellar reputation.  Perhaps it can learn lessons from its past.  And just how did Dunbar produce such elite alumni?  The answers are explored in the documentary, Dunbar High School, The Alchemy of Achievement.