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African American Elementary School In Cumberland County Becomes Historic Landmark

Pine Grove Elementary School
Pine Grove Elementary School. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

A 100-year old African American elementary school in Cumberland County has been given landmark status by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. As Ian Stewart reports, it’s one of six historic Rosenwald schools in the county. 

Transcript:

Ian Stewart:  Rosenwald schools were built specifically for African American students in the South in the early part of the Twentieth Century from grants from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation. The foundation included Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute. 

Stewart:  Resident and former student Muriel Branch created an advocacy group called the Pine Grove Project. She says having landmark status is a tribute to her ancestors who worked so hard to build both the school and the community.

Muriel Branch:  "And I felt that they were finally getting the honor they deserve.”

Stewart: Pine Grove Elementary closed in 1964 when the school district desegregated. Branch hopes to have the school recognized on a national level.

Ian Stewart/VPM News

Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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