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Holmes Ave. School
On this date, we celebrate the opening of Holmes Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles in 1910. It was the first school in that city where Black teachers could secure a job. Los Angeles' first licensed Black teacher, Bessie Burke, started there.
Originally called Fifty-First Street School, it was built next to the Furlong Tract, a Black settlement established in a subdivided area. Holmes was also the first school in Los Angeles specifically built for a Black area. Holmes Avenue Elementary School was rebuilt in 1922 after a fire and was remodeled in 1933 after the earthquake.
For many years, the staff at Holmes Avenue was white. When the district finally did hire Black staff members, most had received their training in El Centro.
Holmes Avenue Elementary School consists of a two-story front building and a newer three-story rear section with a single-story building along one side. All new floors, ceilings, lights, and air conditioning were installed in the three-story building. 1999 new shrubbery was added to the playground, with Fichus trees lining the main corridor. A Wonder of Reading Library was completed.