Paul Laurence Dunbar Park

March 17, 2019

#42 Paul Laurence Dunbar Park – 11th and Indiana

Background: This is one of Wichita’s newest parks. The park is named after poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). Dunbar was known for writing “in the Negro dialect” associated with the antebellum South. Dunbar was one of the first African-American writers to establish an international reputation. He wrote the lyrics for the musical comedy, 1903’s “In Dahomey”, the first all-African-American musical produced on Broadway in Wichita. Dunbar died from tuberculosis, at the age of 33. What I found interesting is that I thought all city parks were named after neighborhoods or people of importance to Wichita. Outside of the above mentioned performance, I can’t find any connection to the city.

What we did: Dunbar is a small park, but the playground equipment was the most unique we have seen in a Wichita park. Check out the pics.

Feeling the Dunbar vibe we stopped at the Dunbar theater, a neighborhood cinema that catered to its largely African-American dominated area. It looks good on the outside, but the last time I was inside, it needed a lot of work. There is an organization trying to revitalize the area and the theater.

Moving across town, we visit another park named after a Winfield doctor.

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