Rappahannock Industrial Academy history and legacy to be discussed

“Education First and Foremost: The History and Legacy of the Rappahannock Industrial Academy” will be presented on Zoom at 3 p.m. February 21 by the Rappahannock Industrial Academy Alumni Association (RIAAA).

The program will explore the history of RI Academy, starting with its conceptualization by the Southside Rappahannock Baptist Association in the 1890s, reported RIAAA board president Bessida Cauthorne White.

Located in Essex County and in operation from 1902-1948, 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, said White. The story of how the Academy served its students and the community is compelling and yet not broadly known.

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, she said. The program also will discuss….

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