Central High, the predecessor of Carver High School, served Gadsden’s African American community from 1934-1936.
Carver High School was the first of many schools in the state named in honor of the great scientist Dr. George Washington Carver. It was built in Gadsden in 1936 and was the city’s first full 12-year public school for African American students. When the school opened, enrollment for grades 1-12 was 1,017.
The first building contained 26 classrooms, an auditorium and a lunchroom. In 1951, enrollment rose to 1,500. In 1953, a new elementary school opened to accommodate grades 1-6. Growth continued, and in 1957, a new gymnasium, a shop and a bandroom were added.
Between 1961 and 1963, a junior high building, a home economics department and a new lunchroom were also added. Tragically, the Gadsden Board of Education closed Carver in 1971. It had become a casualty of Gadsden’s painful school desegregation efforts, which began in 1969.
“If it falls to our luck to be street sweepers, sweep the streets, like Raphael painted pictures, like Michelangelo carved marble, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, and like Beethoven composed music. Sweep the streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth would have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper.”
These famous words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Exemplify the philosophy instilled in the minds and hearts of Central-Carver students. A multitude of students left Central-Carver determined to seize opportunities and explore the limits of their capabilities…determined to find their “place in the sun”.