100 Year Old Historical African American School To Be Restored

In 1919, WWI ended, prohibition began, women were given the vote, and the newly formed Georgia Literacy Commission reported that since the end of the Civil War in 1865, illiteracy among blacks dropped from 95% to only 29%.

In less than two generations since the war, African Americans in Georgia had embraced education. WHY? Because education meant freedom. In 1919, the population of St. Simons

Island, Georgia was 75% African American (of Gullah Geechee heritage), dispersed in three distinct neighborhoods across the island, one of them the mid-Island community of Harrington.

The people of this community were so deeply convinced of the vital link between education and freedom, that they founded the Harrington School for the benefit of their children and future generations.

Today, nearly 100 years later, Harrington Graded School is the last schoolhouse standing on St. Simons Island representing the post-war story of the Gullah Geechee heritage — from freedom to civil rights. It was a one-room building with no running water and outhouses for restrooms, with second-hand books lovingly passed down from class to class and year to year.

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