William W. Blackburn 1873-1957. A native of Port Gibson, Blackburn attended Natchez, Hampton, and Benoit Colleges. He served as a teacher of mathematics at Alcorn and as a teacher and principal in the public schools of Claiborne, Covington, and Grenada counties for more than 20 years. In 1918, he organized and served as principal of the first county training school for blacks in rural Mississippi near Mount Olive. In 1925, he was appointed the Rosenwald Agent in Mississippi by the state Department of Education. In that position he traveled widely, endeavoring to improve educational opportunities for black students. As an organizer of the Mississippi Teachers Association, Blackburn devoted more than 30 years to the organization, serving as its president, executive secretary and editor of its official journal.
Blackburn Middle School/Blackburn Laboratory Middle School was originally called "The School of Color" and was located on the corner of Dalton and Pearl Streets. Eventually, the school was moved to what is known today as the Masonic Temple on Lynch Street. As time passed, the school was relocated to its current location on the corner of Dalton and Pearl Streets and included first (1st) through eighth (8th) grades.
In 1952, the school was named Blackburn Junior and Senior High School after the late Williams W. Blackburn (1873 - 1957). The first graduating class was in 1953 with Emmitt Hayes and Luther Marshall serving as the Junior High and Senior High principals respectively.