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Uplifting Black education: Havre de Grace Colored School and Rosenwald Schools

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The Havre de Grace Colored High School was the first high school for African Americans in Harford county. The Havre de Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center is raising funds to preserve the building. Photo credit: HDG Colored School Museum and Cultural Center.

During the decades many school systems disdained Black students, African-American parents found creative ways to line up education. In Harford County, parents scraped together resources for a tiny primary school, then decades later worked with civic leaders and lawmakers to expand it into a high school. Retired Army Col. Patricia Smith leads the effort to restore the Havre de Grace Colored School … where Janice Grant graduated in 1951:

“There were times when only the teacher had a book. And we had to buy copy books. And the teacher would stand in front of the class and read the one book. And we would have to write it in the copy books. And that would be our books.” 

Then author Philip Merrill tells about Rosenwald Schools in Maryland.

Links: The Havre de Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center, Education Week on preserving Rosenwald Schools, The Aegis Newspaper Janice E. Grant interview, National Trust for Historic Preservation/Rosenwald Schools.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.