Parker-Gray School 100th Anniversary

The Parker-Gray School provided African American children with comprehensive education at a time when segregation and lack of resources, teachers, and facilities threatened what is now understood as a fundamental right of every child.

Page updated on Jan 11, 2021 at 4:50 PM

Parker-Gray School 100th Anniversary

1920-2020

September 10, 2020

Parker-Gray School Memorial WalkwayOn the 100th anniversary of Alexandria’s Parker-Gray School, the City of Alexandria joined the Alexandria African-American Hall of Fame and Parker-Gray Alumni in commemorating this historic legacy. 

The Parker-Gray Memorial Walkway was the vision of the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame. The walkway recognizes the 100th anniversary of Parker-Gray School, which opened to students on September 10, 1920. The walkway, which consists of the Parker-Gray Bulldog mascot and engraved bricks to honor teachers, students, individuals, families, houses of worship and the greater community, is located at the main entrance of the recreation center, at what was the original site of the Parker-Gray school. The school provided African American children with comprehensive education at a time when segregation and lack of resources, teachers, and facilities threatened what is now understood as a fundamental right of every child. 


Unveiling of The Parker-Gray School Memorial Walkway

October 24, 2020

100th Anniversary Program CoverThe City of Alexandria and the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame unveiled the Parker-Gray Memorial Walkway at a dedication ceremony on Saturday, October 24, from 2 to 3 p.m., at Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.). The event was also streamed live online, and the video is available for viewing. 

Community members may continue to purchase commemorative bricks as part of the second phase of the project, with a projected spring 2021 installation. To purchase a brick, visit the donor site. For more information, visit Alexandria African American Hall of Fame website or call 571.217.9951.

Parker-Gray Memorial Unveiling: Video (36:43 minutes)  

Unveiling the Parker-Gray School Memorial Walkway: Souvenir Program
Some highlights of the 40-page souvenir program include:

  • Photograph of the 1920 faculty
  • Program
  • Letters from  Senator Mark Warner, Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Don Beyer, Jr., Mayor Justin Wilson and others
  • Profiles of principals Henry T White (1920-1928), Wesley D. Elam (1927-1938) and William H. Pitts, Sr. (1938-1965)
  • List of Faculty, 1920-1965
  • Remarks by Dr. Mary Hatwood Futrell on the 50th Anniversary
  • A quiz from the Alexandria African-American Hall of Fame: "When you know your history, you know your greatness"
  • Brick Contributors for the Memorial Walkway
  • Proclamation: Parker-Gray Memorial Walkway
  • Proclamation: Parker-Gray Day, September 10, 2020
  • A Street Named EarlOn October 17, 2020, the 1000 block of Montgomery Street  was renamed in honor of Alexandria native and basketball legend Earl F. Lloyd.

The Parker-Gray Archives

The Parker-Gray Archives includes documents, photographs, yearbooks and other memorabilia relating to the Parker-Gray school. Currently the archives contain over 300 photographs, many documents, and assorted memorabilia relating to Parker-Gray from 1920 to 1979.

Photographs from the  Parker-Gray School Collection can now be viewed at   Historic Alexandria Collections Online.


History of the Parker-Gray School  

The Parker-Gray School provided African American children with comprehensive education at a time when segregation and lack of resources, teachers, and facilities threatened what is now understood as a fundamental right of every child. 

Learn more about the History of the Parker-Gray School.

The Parker-Gray Schools: Elementary - High - Middle. 100th Anniversary 1920-2020 is an illustrated brochure produced by the staff of the Alexandria Black History Museum in honor of the Parker-Gray School 100th Anniversary. Can you help us identify more people in the photographs? If you can identify anyone please contact the Alexandria Black History Museum giving the page number and if necessary which person you are identifying in the photo.



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