Community members in a South Carolina town are trying to save a school once designated for African-American children.
A developer recently acquired the 4-acre lot where the last remaining African-American school in East Cooper stands, The Post and Courier reported.
Groups are aiming to save Long Point School — the educational center of the Snowden community from 1904 to 1953. They are working to raise money to move, restore and convert the building into a community center, the newspaper reported.
The Snowden Community Civic Association and the African-American Settlement Community Historic Commission are trying to raise $200,000 to cover all construction costs.
Snowden is one of many African-American settlement communities established in the Charleston area after Reconstruction, the newspaper reported.
It was illegal for slaves to learn how to read, and during Reconstruction, it was difficult for African-American children to find education. As a result, communities such as Snowden established their own schools.
The school opened in 1904 and served Snowden until 1953 when the monumental U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education was unfolding. The case ruled racial segregation unconstitutional in 1954, and a new school, Jennie Moore Elementary, opened for children in Snowden.
Thousands of people pass by the building each day, and many probably don’t have a clue of its past, Mike Allen, who is retired from the National Park Service, has said.
“These structures are hidden in plain sight,” he said. “What we may see today on the side of our roads in South Carolina played a vital link to the education of African-American kids in a very challenging time of Jim Crow segregation.”