Before there were Air Jordans, there was “The Clyde.”
Now that iconic shoe is an important link to a new and historic partnership between Atlanta Public Schools (APS), the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association and PUMA, the athletic shoe and apparel company. APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen officially announced the partnership on Monday at a morning press conference and again in the evening at the monthly meeting of the Atlanta Board of Education.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with PUMA and the David T. Howard Alumni Association, and to do it during Black History Month makes it extra special,” Dr. Carstarphen said. “David T. Howard High School and the David T. Howard Alumni Association are woven into the fabric of Atlanta. They are Atlanta. Additionally, PUMA, through its five-decade relationship with Walt “Clyde” Frazier, one of Howard’s and APS’ most accomplished and distinguished graduates, is inextricably linked to Atlanta as well. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”
Last week PUMA launched the rebranding of one of its first signature shoe and apparel lines, “The Clyde”, worn by Walt “Clyde” Frazier, a National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and graduate of David T. Howard High School, class of 1963. The line is called the “Puma Legacy Collection” and is designed to honor the history, legacy and contributions made to Atlanta by David T. Howard and David T. Howard High School. The Collection may be found in Foot Locker stores around the nation and in special display rooms called “PUMA Labs” in selected cities, including Atlanta. The “Puma Labs” in our city are at Greenbriar Mall and South DeKalb Mall.
Historic partnership will benefit all children in Atlanta Public Schools
As a result of the partnership, APS will receive $30,000 in direct support of the Atlanta Public Schools/Atlanta Partners for Education Whole Child Fund, which provides experiences for students to support their academic and social/emotional development and well-being. Some examples of what this fund provides include field trips, cultural experiences and enrichment activities, and critical emergency support such as uniforms and MARTA cards.
Additionally, as part of the terms of the partnership agreement, PUMA will pay eight percent royalties on net wholesale sales of all co-branded PUMA products worldwide to PUMA wholesale accounts, and four percent royalty on net retail sales of all co-branded PUMA products sold via PUMA-owned retail stores and PUMA’s online store. Each royalty payment made by PUMA will be split equally, with 50 percent paid to APS/Atlanta Partners for Education and 50 percent paid to the David T. Howard Alumni Association.
The David T. Howard Alumni Association will receive a $50,000 fixed-compensation payment as well as the 50 percent royalty mentioned above.
Historic Howard High School building to be reborn as a new APS middle school
Just as PUMA is reviving “The Clyde,” APS will refurbish the historic David T. Howard High School building (551 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue) and reopen it as a new middle school in the Grady High School Cluster. The construction project is scheduled to begin in July 2018 and is being paid for with funds from the recently-approved 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
Facts about David T. Howard
- David T. Howard was born in 1849 as a slave.
- Howard became a free man after the Civil War, and he used $200 inherited from his father to start his life.
- Howard worked as a railroad porter in Atlanta before becoming a mortician. His mortuary business eventually made him one of the city’s first black millionaires.
- Howard donated the land upon which David T. Howard High School was built.
- Howard was a founder of the city’s first black-owned bank, Atlanta State Savings Bank.
- Howard died in 1935.
Facts about David T. Howard High School
- The building opened as the David T. Howard Colored Elementary School in 1924.
- The school became a high school in 1948.
- Prominent David T. Howard attendees and graduates include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta Mayor Maynard Holbrook Jackson, NBA Hall of Famer Walt Frazier, presidential advisor Vernon Jordan, Atlanta real estate entrepreneur Herman J. Russell, former Atlanta police chief and Clayton County Commission chairman Eldrin Bell and student civil rights organizer Lonnie King.