Historic School 26
John Hope School #26 closed its doors in 2007, but in its heyday it was a cornerstone of the Monon 16 community. Alumni of the school claim that their time at the Indianapolis Public School was influential throughout their adult lives. The students took shop and home economic classes on top of their regular English, math, and history. During the 50s, a well-rounded education was not always easy for African-American students to come by, and so teachers worked hard to instill cultural pride in their students. Because the students knew they were cared for, they strived for excellence in all of their subjects, and later in their careers. Even their mascot stuck with them, every student a mustang in their heart.
Recently new life was breathed into the John Hope School #26 building with the arrival of the Oaks Academy Middle School. A liberal arts school with such a significant African-American population would make John Hope himself proud. In his time, John Hope advocated for a liberal arts education over a technical one, saying that a liberal arts education was key to African-Americans achieving social equality.
It’s unfortunate whenever a school closes its doors, but it’s hard to imagine that John Hope alumni would be disappointed with what their old school has become. Just as John Hope graduates used their education to give back to their community, so will graduates of Oaks Academy Middle School. These students may not be mustangs, but the spirit is still there.