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University Finds 18th-Century Schoolhouse Where Black Children Learned to Read

For years, academics and researchers at William & Mary, a university in Virginia, had known about the Bray School, where Black children, free and enslaved, were taught to read from 1760 to 1774. But no one had ever found the school.

Until last year, that is. In June, workers tore open the walls of what had been believed to be an early-20th-century building on campus and found timber that had been harvested in 1759.

The small, four-room school had been hiding in plain sight, inside William & Mary’s military science department.

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