Exhibit 9

Parrish Hill School — a “colored school” education

old schoolhouseThis boarded-up building at the intersection of Route 5 and Weyanoke Road is an old schoolhouse that served children of color from the Parrish Hill neighborhood. Free universal public education came to the children of Virginia in 1870, although there was a price: segregation. The one-room schools that sprang up around the county were poor in resources but rich in community spirit. The first school for colored children at this location was built in 1894. This building was constructed in 1921 and is historically significant because it was built with the aid of the Rosenwald Fund. Photo courtesy Judy Ledbetter.


old schoolhouseJulius Rosenwald, a Chicago philanthropist and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company established a fund in 1917 to provide grants to African American communities throughout the rural south for building schools. Rosenwald Fund seed money generated the building of more than 5,000 public schools that educated more than a third of the black children in 15 southern states from Maryland to Texas. Rosenwald was inspired by Jewish traditions of charity and social justice. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


Booker T WashingtonThe Fund grew out of a partnership between Rosenwald and Virginia-born and Hampton University-educated Booker T. Washington. Washington convinced Rosenwald that the very poor quality of education offered to children of color throughout the south was a problem to address. Rosenwald shared Washington’s belief in self-help. Thus, gifts from the Fund were contingent on a match from the local black community as well as county and state tax dollars. For black communities this amounted to double taxation. Still the communities welcomed the opportunity to obtain better school facilities. In the state of Virginia the Fund helped to build 367 schools capable of serving 42,840 pupils. Several of these schools were located in Charles City.Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


school plan Rosenwald Fund schools were built according to strict architectural standards. Windows were designed to admit maximum natural light. Each site was to be at least two acres to provide space for a playground and a plot for agricultural demonstrations. Parrish Hill School is an example of the Rosenwald plan for a two-teacher school. Image courtesy https://www.historysouth.org/rosenwaldhome/


Parrish HillThe present building replaced an earlier one-room school, pictured here. During the first part of the twentieth century substantial disparities marked the education of white and colored pupils in Charles City, although those disparities were not as great as in other parts of the south. Charles City white schools met for seven months a year, while colored schools met only for six months. White teachers were paid between $35 and $40 per month, depending on which teaching certificates they held. Teachers in the colored schools with comparable certificates were paid between $30 and $35 per month. The number of pupils in each class also tended to be much higher in the colored schools. As a result, overall spending per pupil was substantially less for colored pupils than for white pupils. Photo courtesy Papers of Jackson Davis, MSS 3072, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.


next: Exhibit 10: North Bend Plantation – past poison and contemporary reconciliation