Hoffman-Boston Principal, 1954-1965
In this photo, a group of late 1950s/early 1960s Hoffman-Boston high school students examine the relics on display at the Museum of Natural History.
Their principal at Hoffman-Boston (the combined elementary, junior high, and senior high school for African American students) was George Melvin Richardson, a man of quiet authority and the ideal leader to cope with the complex issues then facing his school and the County.
Richardson was on the initial 1954 committee to study desegregation of the Arlington Public Schools, and principal of Hoffman-Boston from 1954 until the school was closed in 1965. Faced with inadequate classrooms and facilities, Richardson worked for years to improve and expand the school. Field trips such as the one pictured here helped to compensate for the lack of equipment and resources, and to educate students beyond the classroom.
As a resident of the Arlington View neighborhood, Richardson also worked to create the area’s Neighborhood Conservation Plan (one of the first in the county), and later served on the executive board for the Arlington Committee of 100.
George Melvin Richardson’s photographs, oral histories, papers and more can be found on the Center for Local History’s ProjectDAPS.org website, a repository for the Center’s collection of archival documents and photographs relating to the story of the desegregation of Arlington public schools.
View the George Melvin Richardson Collection in ProjectDAPS.org