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A Brief History of A. H. Parker High School

In 1900, a school was opened with eighteen students.  Classes were held on the second floor of the Cameron Building at Avenue H and Fourteenth Street South. Four years later, the first graduating class was held with fifteen members.


As enrollment increased and courses were added to the curriculum, the school was moved.  The second location was Lane Auditorium, a three-story fame building on Eight Avenue and Twelfth Street North.  With the addition of formal courses in industrial training, the school became known as Industrial High School.  When Lane Auditorium was condemned in 1914, the school board purchased a school and a seven-room house on the corner of Eight Avenue and Ninth Street.  Later requiring an adjourning lot with fourteen cottages.  These structures housed the school for ten years.


In 1924, construction began on a new school building located on Eighth Avenue between Joseph and John Streets.  This building was dedicated in 1924.  Other buildings were added in 1924 and 1927.  These facilities fulfilled the dreams of Dr. Arthur Harold Parker, the first principal of Industrial High School; and upon his retirement in 1939, the school was changed to A.H. Parker High School.


One of the strengths of A. H. Parker High School has been the continuity of its administration.  William Bennett Johnson, who served as assistant principal succeeded Dr. Parker as principal.  During his tenure, the school was recognized as one of the largest high school for Negroes in the United States with an enrollment of 3,761 in 1946.  Robert C. Johnson, a former teacher, became principal in January 1947, after the death of William B. Johnson.  Under his leadership, Parker High School earned its accreditation by the Southern Association and Secondary Schools (SACS) in 1953.  When Mr. Johnson retired in 1969, the fourth principal – Edward B. Thompson a nephew of William B. Johnson – was appointed.  Parker became a comprehensive high school and new facilities were completed in 1973.  The campus currently occupies approximately seventeen acres with several buildings.  There are three vocational building in which two are currently being occupied.  Oneof the units houses the lunchroom, kitchen complex, and gymnasium while another building houses offices, classrooms, the media center and auditorium.  Recently, a state of the art track facility was built on the Fourth Street side of the school.


In December 1989, Mr. Thompson retired from the Birmingham City Schools System; and in July 1990, Dr. Eddie Dansby, Jr. was appointed as the fifth principal of A. H. Parker High School.  Under his leadership, Parker High School continued its pursuit of academic excellence.  In July 1998, Dr. Dansby Jr. retired from the Birmingham City Schools Systems and Dr. Raymond Reddick was appointed principal.


The Mission Statement

The mission of A. H. Parker High School is to educate with academic and technical skills along with character development skills to meet the changes, demands, and challenges of a global society.  In a motivation, challenging and rewarding atmosphere, committed educators will employ a comprehensive curriculum to prepare all students.  Special emphasis will be placed upon language and reading skill that will enable students to experience success in all disciplines, on all standardized test and in the world of work.  Educators will also implore students and parents to make a commitment to education.

Our Alma Mater

There’s no other high school we love as Parker High.

We’ll sing and shout her praised until the day we die.

We’ll cheer for white and purple, the colors that we love.

They will lead us in the conflict and our triumphs prove.


We’ll cheer for thee, deer Parker, in each victory.

Thy love and truth shall guide us in each adversity.

Bless her name and shout her praises and make the rafters ring.

Hail to thee, our dear old Parker Hail to thee, we sing.

A.H. Parker High School *900 - 4th Street North * Birmingham* Alabama * 35204