Central Pennsylvania African American History for Everyone
              An online resource since 1997


 Sheila Green-Stevenson's 
High School Memories
Steel High and William Penn


The photographs below were submitted by Sheila Green-Stevenson, a Florida resident who grew up in Harrisburg.  Sheila was more than happy to contribute her memories of growing up in Harrisburg, and plans to send reminiscences as she gets time to record them.  This photograph of a group of young people at their high school prom should trigger many memories for our readers.  The event is the Steelton High School senior prom, however, at this time in history, Steelton required that white students and African American students attend separate proms.  Below that is a photograph of the typists for The Founder, a publication of the students of William Penn High School in Harrisburg. For the first page of photographs, featuring home and school, please click here.  To view the high school football images, please click here.

 1956 Steel High Prom

1956 Steel High prom--click for a larger picture.

Sheila's comments:  "African Americans & Whites held separate proms--someone should have the story behind it.

"Front row, left to right:
#1=Vivian  #2=Angela   #3=?   #4=?

"Second row:
#1=?  #2=Doris Napper   #3=Barbara Fry   #4=Barbara Gaston   #5=Ann Hairston  #6=Ida May Drayton  #7=Rosa  ?   #8= ?

"Third row:
#1=John Stewart  #2=Robert Moffitt   #3=Harding Brown   #4=Robert Archie    #5=Donald Stevenson   #6=??? Scott  #7=?  #8= Richard Garnett

"I wish this picture had been photographed in color so the beautiful pastel gowns , corsages and ladies could be viewed in all their glory!  The prom picture was taken by James Mitchell of Steelton."

1956 William Penn Founder Business Staff

Business staff of the William Penn publication, The Founder.  Click for a larger image.

Typists of The Founder, publication of William Penn High School, Harrisburg.  The women in the photograph are:  
Back Row:  Margie, Frances, Constance, Sylvia, Sheila & Sally
Seated:  Joan, Nancy, Peg,  (Rosie?) & (Alicia?).

"Mr. Ozer was head of  the Business Staff, Class of 1956."

Editor's note: Click the image for a larger picture.  Who can help to identify some of the people in the photographs above?  When did the tradition of segregated proms in Steelton end?  Please share your knowledge and memories with us:  Interact.


Correspondence, Sheila Green-Stevenson to Afrolumens Project, July 16, 24, 28, September 4, 2003.  


The Afrolumens Project extends its sincere thanks to Sheila Green-Stevenson for permission to publish these photographs.

Memories of the segregated dances at Steelton High School are mentioned in the life story of Mazie Baltimore, at Dickinson College's American Mosaic Project pages.  Click here for Mazie Baltimore's story.

For More Information

For photos from Wickersham School, and some family photos, see page one from Sheila Green-Stevenson.
For local high school football memories, see page two from Sheila Green-Stevenson.
For more Steelton material, see our Midland Cemetery pages, and the American Mosaic Project pages about Steelton, from Dickinson College.

Several readers have added stories about Steelton's proms, both integrated and segregated.  See letters from Calobe Jackson Jr., and Kaye Allen.

Share your memories about African American community life in Harrisburg--write to us



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Original material on this page copyright 2003-2006 Afrolumens Project.
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This page was updated March 22, 2023.