Sunday’s celebration of the Douglass School and its legacy stood in clear contrast to its history. 

The school was built despite the resistance of the county leadership only through the unyielding determination of parents who understood the life-changing value that education could offer.

While notable that the great-great-grandson of the school’s inspirational namesake helped lead the school’s rededication, more significant was the participation of the school’s alumni. They are the ones who experienced the oppression of segregation and who endured the early days of integration long opposed by county officials. 

Their leadership in the school’s renovation ensures that their stories won’t be forgotten easily. Although not a museum, plans for the historic building to feature a rotating exhibit of photographs and other memorabilia from the students and teachers will continue to provide valuable history lessons and inspired reflections on the American story. 

Through its three decades of operation, the school improved the lives of generations of Black families. Understanding its legacy will ensure that future generations continue to build on that foundation.

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