Filipino Students Denied Admittance to School [Louisville, KY]In 1904, four engineering students from the Philippines were denied admittance to DuPont Manual Training High School in Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Board of Education ruled that the students' color debarred them from the privilege of public schools. The question the board pondered was whether Filipinos were Negroes. It was decided that the term "Colored" applied to Negroes, Indians, and all other brown races. The law required the separation of races in Kentucky schools.
The four students were located elsewhere; they were members of the Filipino Student Movement, an American government plan for the Americanization of selected Filipino students. The first group of students was comprised of 75 males between the ages of 16 and 21 who ranked highest on the program examination and met other criteria. Four students were recommended for Kentucky University [University of Kentucky] and four for the DuPont Manual Training High School. None of the students came to Kentucky: the engineering students were redirected elsewhere, and the Kentucky University students decided to attend the University of Michigan.
When a student completed his studies in the United States, he was to return to the Philippines to become an employee of the civil service for the equal number of years spent in the United States. Control of the Philippines had been passed from Spain to the United States with the signing of the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War; the United States paid 20 million dollars to Spain for the Philippines.
For more see "Their color debars them," Spokane Daily Chronicle, 7/7/1904, p. 3; "Filipino students," Evening Bulletin, 7/7/1904, p. 4; "The Filipino students," Evening Bulletin, 9/7/1904, p. 1; and p. 929 of the "Report of the Superintendent of Filipino Students in the United States covering the Filipino Student Movement, from its inception to June 30, 1904," in the Fifth Annual Report of the Philippine Commission 1904, Part 3, by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department. For more about the U.S.-Philippines relationship, see Bound to Empire, by H. W. Brands and Crucible of Empire, by J. C. Bradford.