“Son of former slaves crafted legendary career as educator became first principal of first high school for African Americans in Birmingham


Arthur Harold Parker

ARTHUR HAROLD PARKER born May 7, 1870, in Springfield, Ohio was the son of former slaves. Under slavery many states prohibited slaves from learning to read and write, so like other freed slaves Parker’s parents stressed the importance of education to their children. Parker was a good student and planned to attend Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio after high school, but his plans changed when his father was injured. Despite that setback Parker went on to become an educator for more than 50 years and the first principal of Industrial High School in Birmingham, Alabama.


For eight years, AT&T has produced the African American History Calendar to honor individuals who have excelled in various occupations, spearheaded civic and social movements, and dedicated their time and resources to improve the quality of life in our communities.

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