Tag Archives: Historic African-American Schools

Restoration of the Kinlaw Rosenwald School, Camden County

Marshall Glover

While photographing in Camden County with Cynthia Jennings yesterday, I met Mr. Marshall Glover. Mr. Glover is leading the work of restoring the historic Kinlaw Rosenwald School, which was built in 1921. The formal education of African-American children in Kinlaw began in a one-room schoolhouse built on the site in 1896.

The African-American community of Kinlaw was very progressive and embraced better education for its children. Upon learning of the existence of the Rosenwald grants from Matilda Harris, Camden County’s supervisor of black schools, the people of Kinlaw began exploring the possibility of replacing their schoolhouse with a better facility. They raised $909 and with matching contributions and grants began construction on this structure in 1920, with the first classes beginning in 1921. The school offered instruction for children from first to seventh grade and was one of three Rosenwald facilities in the county. Kinlaw is the only one that survives today.

Mr. Glover told me that his father and grandfather both attended the school and that he was glad to be doing the restoration as a way of honoring them. He noted that he has been working for over a year and spent much of that time caulking the tongue-and-groove paneling. He pointed out that the excellent material and construction of the school has been evident during the restoration, with much of the work being cosmetic. He stated that there were some parts of the floor that were compromised due to leaks in the old roof, but they are getting to that work now. With a team of volunteers, he has done an excellent job.

Please consider a contribution to continue this important work. Secure donations can be made here.


Filed under --CAMDEN COUNTY GA--, Kinlaw GA

Old Mt. Olive Baptist Church & School, Circa 1909, Jefferson County

This historic African-American congregation is still active and this structure is adjacent to the associated cemetery. I am unaware of the history of the church, but it is possible that itwas established by former slaves of the Old Town plantation, located nearby.

This structure is located near the old church, and may have been a schoolhouse. Near the newer church is also a structure which appears to have been a school. I hope to learn more.

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Rosenwald School & Marian Anderson Library, 1926, Blackshear

The Blackshear Rosenwald School was built between 1925-1926 to provide a good education for African-American children.

When the school moved into a more modern facility [red building visible at left], the building became the Marian Anderson Library and served the community for many years. It is presently in stable condition, but restoration as a community center or museum would be the best way to insure its future.

The class of 1948 placed two brick gateposts in front of the school. This one contains a marble plaque identifying the graduates: J. B. Twyne; H. J. Lofton; C. S. Britton; T. F. Gibson; A. Fulmore; L. M. Harris; D. A. Deal; and L. Sellers. V. R. McClain was the advisor and S. D. Tarver was the principal.

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Filed under --PIERCE COUNTY GA--, Blackshear GA

Willow Hill Elementary School, 1954, Bulloch County

Willow Hill Elementary School for Negroes Bulloch County GA Equalization School Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A historic marker placed on 30 August 2014 reads: Willow Hill School was established in 1874 during Reconstruction as one of the first schools for African Americans in Bulloch County.  It was privately supported until being sold to the local Board of Education in 1920. In 1954 the county built a new “equalization” school as part of a statewide strategy to resist federally mandated integration.  These schools addressed blatant geographic and racial disparities in education with new, modern – but still segregated – facilities and improved curricula. Willow Hill was one of five such African-American schools in Bulloch County and consolidated several older rural schools: Bennett Grove, Scarboro Grove, Rehovia, Gays Grove, Free Chapel, and Johnson Grove.  The school closed in 1969 as part of the county’s desegregation plan, and the students and faculty sent elsewhere.  It reopened as an integrated intermediate school in 1971 with new faculty.

For a more detailed history, please visit this link.

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Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--