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Historic all-Black schoolhouses will officially be preserved



By Kristina Dixon | Across Black America

Historical all-Black schoolhouses in Maryland, part of the Rosenwald Institutions, are in the process of being preserved by their advocates and graduates. 

The right to education has been a historical battle for Black people and often won within all-Black schoolhouses across the southern United States. Now, these storied institutions within Maryland, that taught generations of Black Americans, are in the process of being preserved to retain their history.

According to CBS News, the Hosanna School is a two-story schoolhouse located in Harford County, Maryland, and is one of four schools created under the Rosenwald initiative to teach Black students. Its establishment in the 1860s as the “Freedmen’s Bureau” schoolhouse was significant to the plight of Black citizens in the country during that tumultuous period.

The school was one of hundreds across the states and even more around the country, with Rosenwald schools being constructed to provide spaces for Black people to receive an education. Efforts are now in place in multiple areas to conserve their vast history.

The Hosanna school is a monument and museum dedicated to shedding light on their Black community’s dedication to academics, despite shutting down its formal operations in the 1940s. Its transformation inspired graduates of these schools and its advocates to preserve other institutions within the region. Charles Givens, a town commissioner, hopes to do so with his alma mater, Elkton Colored School.

“There’s a story here that needs to be told,” Givens said. “We came here. We were educated. We didn’t have the best education, but for a few of us, for many of us, we were able to take what little we had and go out in life and make something of ourselves.”

The school has not received the same upkeep as Hosanna, yet its supporters are working toward a years-long plan to renovate it to become a focal point of history for the generations of Black people it benefitted.

“Seeking to preserve this place really sends a signal to the community that this place mattered, and this place still matters,” expressed Morgan State Professor Dale and project architect Dale Green.

With a robust initiative to turn around the 15,000-square-foot facility, visitors will soon have the chance to hear directly from those who attended, spreading awareness about a lesser-known part of American history.