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At first, though most of its students were African American, all Linden School teachers were white. This stayed true until the first teachers of color were hired in 1950.

Linden School began in 1890 as two-story building with four classrooms and 186 students. By 1913-14, more classrooms were added and enrollment increased to 335. Through the Second Great Migration from the South in the 1940s, the school became almost 100 percent African American by the late 1960s.

Beginning in 1950, Linden School hired the first African American teachers Peggy Flowers Eskridge, Herbert Lewis, Edward Myers and Joseph Luten. In 1959, Myers became the first Black principal in South Bend at Linden. A number of successful African Americans attended Linden, including Elijah Anderson, a sociologist and one of the nation’s leading urban ethnographers. In the 1966, the building began deteriorating (a classroom ceiling collapsed), and the NAACP brought a lawsuit to integrate Linden’s African American students into other school sites with better facilities and books, rather than rebuilding Linden.

In 1972, former Linden students were integrated with Kaley School students and housed in what was then the newly constructed Kennedy School building.  To honor the civil rights movement and the legacy of Linden School in educating African Americans, the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center was built next to the site of the former school in 1973.
Civil Rights Heritage Center. African American Landmark Tour. 2013. .