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AfriGeneas Schools, Organizations, Churches and Institutions Forum

Update: Franklin School in Kankakee, IL

On Nov 27, 2009, I received an email from Jorie Walters, RA ( that a few pieces of information had been located and could be faxed or emailed to me. Well, after several weeks, I finally received the papers in the mail.

The papers included a first-person narrative of a fictional Franklin student on a typical school day. It is short, but enjoyable and informative. Apparently, Franklin School was not exactly segregated in that children from poor white families attended, too. There's even a photo of some schoolboys, black and white, huddled together on the schoolyard circa 1940. The wide grins on their faces and their ill-fitting clothes only indicate they were pals, poor, and segregation was FAR from their minds. If you've ever seen those old "Little Rascal" films, then that's how they looked.

The photo was found in a house that was being torn down. A former tenant of the house, Nick Africano, was given the photo (he is also one of the boys in the photo), and he donated it or a copy of it to the Kankakee Historical Museum. I was hoping to get my dad's school picture, but it is still interesting to view this photo.

Some years after that 1940 photo was taken, my dad was photographed with a white soldier standing next to him. My dad was a sailor, and the two men were mugging it up for the camera with each other's service hats on. That soldier bears a striking resemblance, in my opinion, to the boy, Nick Africano. Just makes me think...hmmmm.

Messages In This Thread

1930's Franklin School in Kankakee, IL
Update: Franklin School in Kankakee, IL
Update2 Franklin School in Kankakee, IL

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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