Pride Overcomes Prejudice

The exhibition is drawn from the oral and written histories of African Americans who participated in local, regional, and national struggles for racial equality as students, teachers, and alumni of Jefferson School, ca. 1865-1965 and beyond. Their memories, painstakingly recorded for each period of the school’s history, infuse the historic Jefferson School campus and surrounding cultural landscape with meaning and significance and provide a unique, intergenerational perspective that is largely missing from other Civil Rights/School Desegregation historic sites. The permanent exhibit will be divided into six sections, each corresponding to a distinctive era – or “generation” – in the school’s history, and each strategically placed within a walking tour of the historic building and grounds.

Phase I

The Freedom Generation (1865-1895)

The Migration Generation (1895-1926)

Opened in 2015, phase I encompasses the period just before Emancipation and continues through to 1920’s. It describes the unrelenting pursuit of education by members of Charlottesville’s African American community. Exercising political influence and communal engagement, they developed their school and the community that surrounded it.

Phase II

The Community School Generation (1926-1939)

The Civil Rights/Massive Resistance Generation (1939-1959)

Phase III

The Desegregation Generation (1959-1970)