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Current Crenshaw High principal, Remon Corley had high expectations of the school when he came on board last year and continues to work to keep the standard alive. “I’m excited to be here and to be apart of, what I see as a great place,” said Corley. “To really have a true impact on, not only a school, but a community.”
Crenshaw High School is recognized for its strength, presence and longevity in L.A.’s African-American community.
In the midst of the change and uncertainty Crenshaw High School (CHS) currently faces, you can still hear the cougar roar proudly. This is an educational institution that has been an access point for local Black youth for decades. Because of CHS, many have been able to follow their dreams and achieve success.
CHS started in 1968 as a public institution for the local community. The school was aimed towards African-Americans from the following areas: View Park, Windsor Hills, Hyde Park, Angeles Mesa, Leimert Part, Chesterfield Square, Moor Park, and West Adams. It has offered a comprehensive educational program that has changed over the years to suit the needs of its students.
The school would truly become known as a powerhouse in high school sports. CHS’s outstanding boys basketball program, which was coached for over thirty years by Willie West Jr., who retired in 2007, still stands as a team to be reckoned with. The cougars are also widely known for their dominance in high school football.
CHS has even made it to Hollywood with the school being used as a backdrop to many movies and television shows. It has been featured in films such as Boyz n The Hood (1991), Love and Basketball (2000) and was high school to singer and actress, Brandy’s character Moesha in the television show of the same name.
The school has also had its fair share of celebs that came to call Crenshaw home. Some of those notable alumni include: former All-Star and Rookie of the Year, Darryl Strawberry, rapper and actor Ice-T, hip hop recording artist Schoolboy Q, and defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys Brian Larisso Price just to name a few.
The well-known high school would also suffer from the negative stigma surrounding it. CHS has had many challenges with urban issues such as gang violence and rotating staff, which put CHS in a negative light media wise. Despite setbacks, CHS has garnered love, respect and honor over the years, such much so, that many took interest in it’s future.
In more recent years, organizations would become involved such as The Greater Crenshaw Educational Partnership (GCEP), a nonprofit that aimed to improve CHS by helping address the needs and issues of the school. Many programs like the Crenshaw2China program helped expose CHS students to other cultures and prepare them for a diverse job market.
CHS is currently in the process of becoming three magnet schools; a choice many don’t agree is best for the historical institution. Nevertheless, Crenshaw High School has earned its place through the good and the bad and will never be forgotten. It has taught the ethnic youth of South L.A. how to survive and make a difference in the world.