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July 30, 2019

Rosenwald Schools marker dedication Saturday, Aug. 3

Contributed Photo
The Rosenwald School and seven others will be listed on the marker that will be dedicated Saturday in Warrenton.
It serves as a teaching tool of past endeavors to reach out and help one another achieve a common goal.
— Karen Hughes White, Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County president
Historical Marker Ceremony
• What: Dedication of marker commemorating Fauquier’s eight blacks-only Rosenwald Schools.

• Where: Eva Walker Park, Alexandria Pike, Warrenton

• When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3; reception will follow at First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center at 43 Alexandria Pike.

Host: Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County, The Plains.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A historical marker commemorating Fauquier’s eight blacks-only Rosenwald Schools will be dedicated Saturday at Eva Walker Park in Warrenton.

Hosted by the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County, the ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. A reception will follow at the Warrenton’s First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center.

The Aug. 3 dedication will include remarks by keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Blakey, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary.

Jerry Klinger, president of the Florida-based Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, which paid for the marker, also will speak.

Measuring about 48 by 46 inches, the “specially treated” aluminum marker will be mounted on a post visible from Alexandria Pike. Mr. Klinger estimated the marker’s cost at $3,500.

In part, one side includes a history of Rosenwald Schools in Fauquier; the other shows a map that locates the school sites.

His organization launched the marker program in early 2018 and since has funded three signs elsewhere in the South that recognize the contributions of Rosenwald Schools, Mr. Klinger said.

In April 2018, he contacted AHA President Karen Hughes White about the marker project.

The sign will function as an important reminder, Ms. White said.

“It tracks a period of Fauquier history of the African-American and the collaborative efforts to provide facilities for teaching, educating African Americans,” she explained. “It serves as a teaching tool of past endeavors to reach out and help one another achieve a common goal.”

Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington partnered in the early 1900s to help communities build more than 5,000 Rosenwald Schools, shops and teacher homes.

The schools sought to offset persistent underfunding of public education for African-American children in the South before desegregation.

A successful clothier, Mr. Rosenwald became a part owner and president of Sears Roebuck Co. A prominent philanthropist, Mr. Washington served as president of the Tuskegee Institute — a historically black university in Alabama.

Mr. Klinger, who lives in Florida, believes their shared commitment to eradicate bigotry and discrimination and a belief in the transformative power of education motivated them.

“It reflects on the commonality of the American experience,” he said of the marker’s value. “People of different backgrounds coming together for the common objective of making this better.”

Mr. Klinger added: “All of us need to learn about the American story. . . . We have to remember the past, because if we don’t, we don’t have a future. We have to know where we came from before we know where we’re going.”

Most of Fauquier’s Rosenwald Schools got built in the 1920s. To her knowledge, all or portions of five of the structures still stand, according to Ms. White. Privately owned, some serve as homes. 

Contact Don Del Rosso at or 540-270-0300.
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Dybannan · August 13, 2019 at 7:14 am
Most of all, I wanted to hear Dr. Michael Blakey, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary. It reminded me of a collaboration with, namely, academic writing of historical works. Indeed, knowledge of the past shapes our future.
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