North Natchitoches Elementary

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North Natchitoches Elementary School was built in the 1950s, making education more accessible to African American children in the growing neighborhood of Breda Town.

My mama and a lot of people out in Breda Town was instrumental in getting that school in Breda Town. [Before then] we had to walk to [Jackson] square. I walked from Phillip Street to where the project is now.

Laurence Vaughn returned to Natchitoches to serve as the first principal at the school. Being principal of a fledgling African American elementary school was not a lucrative profession. Nevertheless, this young man left opportunities on the West Coast and returned home, hoping to contribute to the betterment of his community:

At that time this school was being opened here, North Natchitoches Elementary School, and I was selected as the person to become principal of it. And that was my main reason for leaving the Bay area – Oakland, California. And I came back here and began work as principal at North Natchitoches Elementary School…. I was pretty active – young and wanting to do things. I was doing three things here in Natchitoches at one time. I was principal of the school, and I was owning a barbershop, and I was in the insurance business. All at the same time.

Guillet Collection, #C-20, n.d. CHRC

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