A historic Black school is set to be preserved and relocated to east Charlotte
The Charlotte Museum of History has exceeded the fundraising goal to preserve and relocate the Siloam School — one of the city’s most historic buildings. It’s still standing in northwest Charlotte and was once used to educate African Americans during segregation.
The Siloam School was built in the 1920s. One of the thousands of Rosenwald Schools constructed by local community members. Over the years, the building, located near Mallard Creek Road, has fallen into disrepair. That’s where the Save Siloam School Project c am e in. Terri L. White led the Charlotte Museum of History's efforts to save the school, which recently received $500,000 from the Gambrell Foundation, bringing the fundraising total to $1.2 million.
“It shows a commitment not only on our part but to the community's part that they want to hear Black stories,” White said . “And they want to learn Black history and that the preservation of Black spaces is important to us as a city.”
White said the community wanted to set up schools for their children despite the challenges African Americans faced during the Jim Crow era.
“‘Our children deserve better. We are going to do better, and we can do it for ourselves," White said . "So, this school represents preserving that particular mindset that I think is important for the city as a whole but especially for the culture.”
Before next summer, the bui lding will be re located to the east side of Charlotte, placed on the museum's eight-acre campus and used as a community hub to educate people about Black history in Charlotte.
“It will be an exhibit space; we will have small programs in there; it will be a place for the community to have small activities if they so choose,” White said . “And it will again be the physical reminder of our commitment to Black history and Black stories as an institution.”
Several other organizations contributed to the project, which was started six years ago. The initiative was first led by the nonprofit organization Silver Star Community, Inc., which is dedicated to preserving historic Black spaces.
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