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Bray School Lab

The William & Mary Bray School Lab is a key component of the Williamsburg Bray School Initiative, a ground-breaking and innovative partnership between William & Mary and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation with the shared goal of uncovering, documenting, preserving, and disseminating the history and legacy of the Williamsburg Bray School. As we reconstruct the Bray School’s history, we aspire to transform traditional accounts of America’s history into a multi-layered story that centers Black legacy at the heart of U.S. democracy.

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The Bray School lab applies an interdisciplinary approach centered in the Humanities and takes into account the evolving roles and social perceptions of religion, slavery, democracy, higher education, philanthropy, and economics. The Bray School Lab will engage research teams including undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and community members to incubate and scale innovative social justice scholarship, in collaboration with descendants of Bray School students and other partners.

Areas of Inquiry
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Bray School Legacy

Uncover, document, and disseminate the hidden stories of the Bray School students and teacher, and surrounding communities.

History of African American Education

Study African Americans’ access to education and the legacies thereof.

African American Culture

Explore the various facets of African American culture and the impact of African American legacy on economic development, higher education, policy implications, and other elements of Williamsburg and William & Mary community life.