Western University & Kansas Vocational School / Kansas Technical Institute

By the beginning of the 20th century, the kind of formal education needed for individual and group advancement
became a focal point of national discussion among African Americans concerning the best way to eliminate white
supremacy beliefs and practices. The nation’s most powerful African American leader, Mr. Booker T. Washington,
advocated for training in vocations or industrial training, while influential scholar and activist, W.E.B. DuBois,
called for an emphasis on creating a leadership comprised of college graduates. In Kansas, African American
communities established two secondary schools, Western University and KVS/Kansas Technical Institute. Although
both of them maintained a curriculum supportive of Mr. Washington’s philosophy of education, they also included
liberal arts classes and programs.