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Non-profit group works to restore Old Mill Neck School

Submitted by Paulette B. Lawrence

COMO – In observance of Black History Month, the dedicated residents of the Mill Neck Community in Como have erected a historical monument on US 258 North at Mill Neck Road to commemorate the Old Mill Neck School, a historical reminder of the history of the United States and African American heritage.

The funding for the monument was obtained by the local residents along with community partnership grants from Southern Bank and Roanoke Electric Membership Corporation.

The Old Mill Neck School was built in 1927 and operated until 1959. It is one of four Rosenwald Schools standing today in Hertford County. These schools were deemed beacons of education for African Americans. Rosenwald Schools were established by Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company.

Rosenwald Schools arose from the chronic underfunding of public education for African Americans in the South who were required to attend segregated schools. Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington formed an unlikely partnership in 1913 with an idea of a new common philanthropic tool, the matching grant: the rural black community provided a contribution and Rosenwald would contribute cash along with county local funds to finance the building of these schools.

There is an ongoing effort to obtain grants and funds to help repair and renovate the old school building for future community use as a cultural museum. The Mill Neck Rosenwald School Association is a 501 ©(3) organization and is incorporated in the State of North Carolina. Donations are tax exempt.

Also, if there are persons who have related artifacts, manuscripts, etc. and other memorabilia that reflect the heritage of the Mill Neck School and desire to incorporate them in the museum, contact committee members Paulette Lawrence, and Pastor Darrell T. Partlow of Mill Neck Missionary Baptist Church.

Special thanks goes out to Caroline Stephenson, Historian, and Penne Stanback, Consultant, who were instrumental in helping to obtain historical recognition for the Old Mill Neck School.