Henry McNeal Turner High School opened in 1951 on the west side of Atlanta, Georgia. At this point in time, Atlanta Public Schools was rooted in the practices and ideologies of the confederate south. However, the Black middle class was emerging and seeds of discontentment with the status quo were being planted and vibrantly growing. Along with this arose the need for a suitable school for the children of Atlanta’s newest demographic. The selection of the initial administration and teaching staff was as deliberate as the acts of the growing Civil Rights movement. The harvest reaped in the years to follow has impacted Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the entire Southeastern boundary of the USA.
This is the inspirational story of a school, its devoted staff, its extraordinary alumni, and how it effected social, educational, and political change to a reluctant city and state. It is the exemplary story of Henry McNeal Turner High and the Amazing Legacy it left behind!
The graduates of Henry McNeal Turner High School went on to become phenomenally successful at rates that far exceeded the achievements of the other Atlanta area high schools. The graduates of this school went on to become PhD’s, college presidents, medical doctors, politicians and educators. The first Blacks to integrate Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) as well as the University of Georgia were graduates of HM Turner High School. After the Supreme Court ruling of Brown v. The Board of Education, the first Black students to desegregate the public schools of Atlanta was handpicked right from the student body of HM Turner High.
Many other graduates would play integral roles in the desegregation of industry and the advancement within politics and many other fields throughout the south and the nation. And they all contribute their strength and foundation, at least in part, to their high school, Henry McNeal Turner High School.