Engagement Session is the First in a Series
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2021 – The Charlotte Museum of History will host a virtual engagement session for the community on Thursday, August 19, at 5:30 p.m. to share the latest updates on the Save Siloam School Project, a project to save a historic African American school building. A local Black community built the school in rural northeast Charlotte in the early 1920s to give their children a quality education despite segregation.
Project Committee Chair Fannie Flono and Museum President & CEO Adria Focht will discuss the project’s goals and the milestones accomplished so far, including raising nearly two-thirds of the $1 million fundraising goal needed to complete the project.
Attendees can offer feedback on the project plan and learn how to get involved.
“This is the first in a series of community engagement sessions The Charlotte Museum of History will host,” Flono said. “The restored school will become an educational space and a resource for the entire community. So we want to know what the community wants from this space, including what they’d like to know about the school’s history and how they’d like to see this history shared.”
The project will restore the school, move it to the history museum’s campus and turn it into a permanent community resource devoted to history education and programming, including exhibits about racial justice and equity. When restored, the school will be the only preserved Rosenwald-designed school in Mecklenburg County devoted to history education and history programming.
How to go
The engagement session is free and will be live streamed on Zoom. Register at charlottemuseum.org/events.
About the Siloam School
The Siloam School was one of thousands of Rosenwald-era schools built throughout the segregated South in the early 1900s to educate African American children. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is endangered due to disrepair. It currently sits on its original site, near an apartment complex close to UNC Charlotte.
It does not appear that the Rosenwald Fund paid for the construction of the Siloam School. It is likely that the local community absorbed the costs to build the school in the Rosenwald tradition, using a Rosenwald School floor plan.
The Rosenwald schools program offered matching funds and architectural plans to communities that wanted to build schools for Black students in the early 20th century throughout the segregated rural South. The program produced more than 5,000 schools in the South in the early 1900s – 813 of them in North Carolina. By 1928, one-third of the South’s rural African American school children and teachers were served by Rosenwald Schools. Mecklenburg County had 26 Rosenwald schools; only seven remain today.
How to Support the Save Siloam School Effort
People can support the Save Siloam School Project with a tax-deductible donation at charlottemuseum.org/siloam.
About The Charlotte Museum of History
The Charlotte Museum of History exists to save and share the Charlotte region’s history, helping create a better understanding of the past and inspiring dialogue about the future. The museum is the steward of the 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Rock House and homesite, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest home in Mecklenburg County. Visit charlottemuseum.org and follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The museum is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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