J.B. Stradford, a man who modeled self-sufficiency, adaptability, and leadership to uplift the community of Greenwood, Oklahoma, was born into slavery in 1861. Despite his status as a slave, J.B. Stradford learned to read and write. Through his father's persistence, defiance and strength, his family gained their freedom, enabling J.B. to obtain an undergraduate degree at Oberlin College in Ohio, followed by a law degree from Indiana University.
Following the Civil War, J.B. Stradford was an outspoken advocate for the African American community and promoted equal treatment and unity for his people. He believed in the promise of America to offer equal opportunities to all people willing to work hard. Stradford became a successful entrepreneur and moved to Greenwood, Oklahoma. Stradford bought and sold land to African American families and businesses, creating a thriving economy within the town of Greenwood, which would eventually be known as "The Black Wall Street."
Our school is modeled after the example that J.B. Stradford set for young men. At Stradford Prep, we will challenge, motivate, discipline, and inspire young men to achieve and become future leaders both locally and globally. We know that when given the right tools, young men can develop J.B. Stradford’s mindset to overcome odds, empower others, and develop communities within a community.
— Booker T. Washington