Hate motivates heritage

The Ashburn Colored School was built in the nineteenth century to provide educational opportunities for the newly freed African Americans in Northern Virginia. The school was in existence from the late 1800s to the 1950s, but then fell into disrepair as the court-ordered to racially segregated schools provided much better opportunities for African American school children. In recent years, as the private Loudoun School for the Gifted (which owned land across the street) initiated plans to construct a new facility for itself, students at the Loudoun School for the Gifted learned of the history of the Ashburn Colored School and decided to organize a project to restore the dilapidated building in hopes of bringing its history back to life. While the students were making great progress, however, in summer 2016 vandals spray-painted "obscenities, swastikas and a message of 'white power.'” Undaunted, the students used the ugly messages to reinvigorate and publicize their efforts.

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Community restores historic African American schoolhouse to counter hate

By Katherine Shaver

The Washington Post

October 9, 2016

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