James Lee Dickey: An Analysis of One African-American's Leadership in Jim Crow Texas

Early Years

James Dickey was always a conscientious student. He attended the 2nd District Negro School in Waco, graduating as valedictorian in 1912 from A. J. Moore High School. Most young people in the South did not attend college in the early 1900’s, not only because of the financial burden, but more importantly, it was deemed unnecessary since the primary economic activity was farming or domestic service. Higher education was an even more unusual occurrence when the student was black. so James became the first Dickey to attend college. He supported himself at Tillotson Normal and Collegiate School in Austin, Texas, by waiting tables and tending furnaces. His annual tuition at Tillotson was $42.


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