1st African-American Assistant Principal of West Monroe High School

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In 1974 West Monroe High School was a racially polarized school.
Its mascot, the Rebel, epitomized its Southern roots in the confederacy and irritated and angered Blacks. School desegregation laws forced Blacks to attend the school, much to the anger of whites.

To help ease the transition Walter Lewis Allen was appointed assistant principal. Initially, Allen was viewed as the assistant principal for the Black population. Soon, it became apparent that Allen was a superior administrator. His strictly business approach to administration drew accolades from both Blacks and whites.

His superior performance on the job dispelled the illusion that Blacks could not excel administratively at the school and opened the door for others.

1st African-American personnel director for the city of Monroe

There was a general attitude that still lingered in the late 1990’s that Blacks were not able to discipline themselves; neither could they be expected to arbitrate the professional affairs of others, especially those of their own race without bias. When Walter Allen became personnel director for the City in 1996 he quickly dispelled the notion that Blacks lacked the professionalism to serve in the highly structured and confidential office of personnel director. Allen’s performance in the position was stellar. Because of his performance each of his successors would be judged by their own performance, not automatically condemned because of their race.