Former Dunbar High School teacher E.M. “Nat” Watson Jr. was recently inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame.

Former Dunbar High School teacher E.M. “Nat” Watson Jr. was recently inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame.

Watson was born on May 2, 1910 in Boley, Oklahoma. His father had a lengthy career as an educator and retired as the principal of Dunbar High School.

Mr. Watson graduated from Boley High School and played football at Langston University where he earned the nickname “Nat” for his agility on the gridiron. Watson Jr. also earned All-American honors and upon graduation attended Oklahoma State University in further pursuit of his education.

Watson began his education career in his hometown of Boley. There he taught social studies and was often quoted as saying, “If you know history, you know yourself.” He taught students to look beyond the textbook and discover history in their surroundings.

At Boley, Watson got his first taste of coaching and led the football team to several winning seasons. Eventually, he moved to Wheatley High School in Beggs and taught at the schools for a total of 16 years.

In 1944, Watson joined Dunbar High School as a social studies teacher and coach. His 1948 Dunbar Bears squad won the state championship in football. He also coached the Shawnee Rotary Club Midget baseball team and won the title along with several playoff games.

Dunbar High School was closed in 1956 and Watson was hired on at the predominantly white Shawnee High School but worked as an assistant football coach until his children graduated high school.

In 1962, Watson accepted a teaching and coaching position at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City.

From 1966 to 1975, Watson was the assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Langston University. On May 6, 1975, Watson and two other coaches were honored as outstanding coaches as they led the Langston Lions to two Oklahoma Collegiate Conference titles and tied for another.

In 1996, Watson was inducted into the Shawnee Football Hall of Fame prior to the Shawnee vs. Tulsa Washington game at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

Watson married Atla G. Brown (Watson) of Langton in 1942. Dr. Alta Watson also taught at Langton University. Mr. and Mrs. Watson had three children, John Ronald M.D., Kenneth C. Esq., and Glenda Moss. All three children graduated from Langston University.

After his retirement in 1975, and he returned to teach social studies for a year at Northeast High School in Oklahoma City.

After more than 50 years as an educator, Watson passed away on April 24, 1981.