Almost 60 years ago, the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” overturned the 1896 decision of Plessy v. Ferguson that allowed state-sponsored segregation. Before the ruling, there were schools for white students and schools for colored students. One of those schools still stands in Wilmington, Delaware. But it may not stand any longer, depending on the decision of the new board of directors.
Hockessin School 107C is a brick building on Millcreek Road that holds a lot of history and is a reminder of the Civil Rights Movement. While some feel it’s a monumental landmark of the struggle African Americans went through for equality, others feel that the school should have never existed in the first place as it represents the racism black people had to endure.
The school was built by industrialist and philanthropist Pierre S. du Pont as a project of almost 90 schools in African American communities. The project that started in 1920 was an investment of more than $6 million, which translates to over $66 million in today’s time. Even with the investment, “colored” schools were still a far cry for an up to par educational institution compared to their white counterparts. With old textbooks and limited space, schools like 107C were still inferior.
107C closed its doors in 1959, and has since been used for church and community events. The Hockessin Community Center was incorporated in 1968, and has offered services and activities to low-income residents in the community. The start of a new construction project began in late 2008, and the new board plans to preserve the history of the school.
BMWK – what are your thoughts? Should buildings like this be preserved as landmarks of the struggle that African Americans went through?