ATLANTA–David T. Howard Middle School and David T. Howard National Alumni Association, Inc. (DTH NAAI) will celebrate the official dedication of the Walt “Clyde” Frazier Gym Court/Gymnasium on Tuesday, July 19.
The dedication will be held 10 a.m. until noon, at David T. Howard Middle School, 551 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., NE, Atlanta.
Frazier, an acclaimed NBA basketball player, is a member of the graduating class of 1963 at the former David T. Howard High School in Atlanta, GA. He learned basketball on a rutted and dirt playground, the only facility available at his all-Black school in the racially segregated South in the 1950s.
Although he was offered other scholarships for his football skills, Frazier accepted a basketball offer from Southern Illinois University. Hewas quoted at the time as saying, “There were no black quarterbacks, so I played basketball.”
New York Knicks staff will be in attendance at the dedication as well as executives from athletic apparel and casual footwear manufacturer PUMA.
The former David T. Howard High School on Atlanta’s east side was one of two high schools during the early 1940s for African Americans, the other being Booker T. Washington on the west side. Howard High officially closed in 1976.
Today, the building has been completely renovated, renamed David T. Howard Middle School and is listed on the National Historic Registry because of its cultural significance to the history of the Old Fourth Ward community and the City of Atlanta.
Notable graduates include civil rights legend Martin Luther King, Jr.; Atlanta’s first black mayor, Maynard H. Jackson; business executive and civil rights activist Vernon E. Jordan Jr., noted entrepreneur Herman J. Russell, student movement civil rights activist Lonnie C. King and former Atlanta police chief and Clayton County’s first Black commission chair Eldrin Bell.