Stephens-Lee High School
Stephens-Lee is now a community recreation center
In contrast to Stephens-Lee, white students attended Lee Edwards High School, built in 1929
Greater than Equal: African American Struggles for Schools and Citizenship in North Carolina, 1919-1965, a book detailing African American struggles with segregation in North Carolina
Backstory and Context
Graduates of Stephens-Lee during the 1960s often became trailblazers for racial integration at colleges and universities. For example, future NBA guard and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame inductee Henry Logan became the first African American student at a public university in North Carolina, joining the team at Western Carolina in 1964. Logan remains the highest-scoring player of all time at Western Carolina.
In 1975, most of the school was demolished, leaving only the gym left standing. It is now known as the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center. In 2014, the center was renovated. It reopened in 2015 with new floors, walls, and lighting.
Whelan, Sarah. In photos: Stephens-Lee Recreation Center reopening. Mountain Xpress. June 08, 2015. Accessed June 02, 2019. https://mountainx.com/news/in-photos-stephens-lee-recreation-center-reopening/.