Monday, February 13, 2023

The Oldest Schoolhouse for Black Children in the US Relocates to Virginia Museum

Sent: January 3, 2023
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: 

The Bray School, believed to be the oldest surviving schoolhouse for Black children in the US, has been moved to Colonial Williamsburg, a museum in Virginia. The building, which was built 25 years prior to the American Revolution, held as many as 30 students at a time, some of whom were free Black children while others were enslaved. The school's faith-based curriculum, created by an English charity, justified slavery and encouraged students to accept their fate as God's plan, but still provided education that could empower and even be subversive. The former schoolhouse had 1.5 stories and was expanded over the years before it was last used as an ROTC office. The moving of the Bray School is part of Colonial Williamsburg's ongoing efforts to rewrite incomplete historical narratives and to tell the full and true story of the country's past.


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