Earlier this month, a gathering was held at Gloucester’s Rising Valley Baptist Church to remember the historical Brooks Memorial School and honor a group of students who attended the primary school for Black youth in the James Store area in the days before school integration.
The Gloucester Union Relief Association of Missionary Baptist held the program at the church following Sunday services there on April 2, bringing together some of those who attended the school in the 1940s and ’50s.
Rising Valley Baptist member Brenda Davis, who also serves as head coordinator of GURA’s team of youth advisors, helped to organize the program. Some 30 schools were scattered throughout Gloucester to serve the county’s Black youth, she said, with many clustered together with a church and a general store.
Brooks Memorial School was named after Henry Brooks, who Davis was able to find was a member of Rising Valley. Although he shares the same last name as a famous family of educators in Mathew...
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