The intersection of Lexington and Marshall represents two points of entry by African Americans: education and athletic achievement. In Saint Paul, access to educational institutions was generally available to African Americans, resulting in one of the most literate black populations in the United States. Central High School, which sits on the northwest corner of Lexington and Marshall and is Minnesota's oldest continuously operating high school, relocated here from downtown in 1911.

Saint Paul Mechanic Arts (Manual Training) High School was another important school that educated black students. Because of their proximity to the racially diverse Rondo community, these two schools became the primary educational institutions for many African Americans during most of the 20th century. Mechanic Arts closed in 1976 when several high schools consolidated.

The second point of entry relates to sports achievement. Central High School's football stadium honors its 1930s graduate, James "Jimmy" Griffin who became Saint Paul's first African American police chief. Most famous of the hometown sports heroes is Dave Winfield. Born and raised in Saint Paul, Winfield gained international attention as a left fielder with several major league teams including the Toronto Blue Jays, where he helped garner their first World Championship in 1992. Winfield was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.