Thursday, June 24, 2021

Colonial Williamsburg and William & Mary Partner on Williamsburg Bray School Initiative

WILLIAMSBURG-Colonial Williamsburg and College of William & Mary are collaborating to relocate and restore the Williamsburg Bray School for enslaved and free black children.

Researchers determined a small, white building on the college’s campus once housed the historic 18th century school. Plans are now in place to relocate it to Colonial Williamsburg.

The new partnership between Colonial Williamsburg and William & Mary is being called the Williamsburg Bray School Initiative. The initiative will use the new school site as a central point for research, scholarship, and dialogue about the complicated story of race, religion, and education in Williamsburg and in America, according to a press release Colonial Williamsburg issued about the project on Feb. 25.

Williamsburg Bray School was used to educate many of Williamsburg’s black children from 1760 t0 1774.  Plans to relocate, restore, and interpret the school structure is made possible in part thanks to a $400,000 grant from the Gladys and Franklin Clark Foundation. A timeline for relocation as well as a site for the school have not yet been determined.

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