Black Education in Bryan

Date Added

On March 30, 1885, the City of Bryan purchased seven lots in this area as a site for a public school to provide separate but equal and impartial instruction for black children of the community, as prescribed by the Texas State Constitution of 1876. The "Bryan Public School for Colored" was the first educational institution established for blacks in Brazos County. When school opened in the fall of 1885, its principal was A.H. Colwell, who later became a prominent leader of black Republicans, and was named as a presidential elector from Texas in 1896. The original faculty included Mrs. Anne Alberson, Misses Mamie Burrows and Beatrice Calhoun, Mrs. Ada Scott Hall, and Mrs. Lenora Green, a classmate of Dr. William E.B. Dubois. The first school building of this site was a two-story frame structure, furnished with planks supported by kegs for seating. After the school burned in 1914, a brick edifice was constructed. In 1930, when the Kemp Junior-Senior High School was built across town, this facility became Washington Elementary School. After its destruction by fire in Sept. 1971, Washington Elementary was not rebuilt and the black students were integrated into the Bryan Public School System. Washington Park occupies most of the original site.

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