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Program takes look at history of RI Academy

“Education First and Foremost: The History and Legacy of the Rappahannock Industrial Academy” is the title of a public program that will be conducted at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21, via the Zoom platform.

Presented by the Rappahannock Industrial Academy Alumni Association, the program will explore the history of the RI Academy, starting with its conceptualization by the Southside Rappahannock Baptist Association in the 1890s.

Located in Essex County and in operation from 1902 through 1948, the RI Academy was a private boarding school that provided high school education for African Americans at a time when it was not offered by area public schools. The story of how the academy served its students and the broader community is compelling and yet not broadly known, said a press release.

It is a story of dedication, perseverance, and determination in the face of racism and economic challenges, as well as one of triumph over adversity. The program will also discuss the extension of t...

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