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Leo Lucas Oral History Interview (SC-262)

Identifier: SC-262

Content Description

The collection consists of a 26 minute interview of Dayton City school board member Leo Lucas, conducted by West Carrollton High School Student Mark Benbow in the summer of 1975 for a government class assignment. The assignment involved selecting an issue and interviewing a person in local government. Mark chose the controversy over busing to desegregate Dayton Public Schools. During the interview, Mr. Lucas explains the history of busing for integrating schools in Dayton. He also explains the magnet programs in segments of Dayton schools aimed at equalizing educational opportunities for students regardless of race. Mr. Lucas explained his position of making the magnet programs involuntary in order to insure students’ interests were served. Lucas also explained his belief that the courts should not be in charge of integrating the schools because they would do it based on color alone. Rather, Mr. Lucas believed that integration should be done on the basis of academic offerings, emphasizing that students should choose the courses they want to pursue and be bused to the schools offering those programs if beyond the two mile distance. At the time, Dayton schools had 69 building and an estimated 40,000 students, according to Mr. Lucas.


  • Creation: 1975


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection, however due to preservation concerns, the original audiocassette cannot be played in the reading room. Patrons may have access to an MP3 digital copy of the interview.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Leo Alexander Lucas was born in Georgia in 1912. He attended Florida A&M University, and became a teacher and a CPA. He served as a member of the Dayton City school board from the late 1960s to early 1980s, also serving as the Dayton school board president. Mr. Lucas was on the school board during desegregation plans in Dayton’s public schools. He founded the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Black Caucus and has a scholarship named in his honor. Leo Lucas passed away in 2008.


0.1 linear feet (1 audiocassette)

698 Megabytes


The collection consists of an oral history interview audio recording with Leo Lucas, a member of the Dayton City School Board during the battle over busing students for desegregation. The interview was conducted in the summer of 1975 by high school student Mark Benbow.


Single Item.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The recording is not high quality, with background noise throughout, however the content is audible. A computer is required to listen to the MP3 or WAV recording.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mark Benbow of Falls Church, Virginia donated the oral history interview recording to Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University on May 20, 2009.

Existence and Location of Copies

The audiocassette was digitized for access as an MP3 file located in the E-archives (sc262_e0001).

Related Materials

MS-299 Kent Organ Dayton School Desegregation Papers.

MS-458 Dayton Daily News Archive, Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University: Desegregation series files, Personality files on Leo Lucas.

Leo Lucas was also interviewed in 2004 as part of the National Visionary Leadership Project interviews and conference collection, 1997-2009 / collected by the National Visionary Leadership Project.

Guide to the Leo Lucas Oral History Interview (SC-262)
Toni Vanden Bos
2019 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA