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Historic Black school moved to east Charlotte for preservation

The Siloam School provided an education to Black children when Jim Crow laws barred them from schools with white students.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Siloam School is a piece of Black history in Charlotte that’s now being preserved for years to come. 

Built in the 1920s, the Siloam School was designed to give Black students a quality education in the midst of segregation. 

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Fanny Flono helped launch the Save Siloam School project in 2017. She was the museum Friday when the building arrived at the Charlotte Museum of History

"Just so surreal in a way to see all of our efforts come to fruition" Flono said. 

For Flono, it's been several years of hard work pushing to preserve the school and educate future generations. 

"This building used to sit behind an apartment complex and was all but obscured from public view," Flono said. "It was always in danger of being torn down because there was a lot of construction and development in that area."

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The project raised just over $1.25 million to not only save, but renovate and move the school to the Charlotte Museum of History. 

The Siloam School is a "Rosenwald-era" school, according to Lauren Wallace, the museum's development director. These schools were built and funded by Black communities during a difficult time. 

"Really what this school is about is it’s about telling that moment in Charlotte’s history that we’re not particularly proud of," Wallace said. "The separate but anything but equal."

The Charlotte Museum of History has several artifacts on display that tell the story of this school. 

The museum is planning to fully renovate the school and open exhibits inside that will take people back to that point in time. 

"Seeing that moment through their eyes and understanding the possibility of this space I think is what’s going to be the most powerful part of this," Wallace said.

While it was a dark time in history, it was a time when a community came together and built something for the greater good. 

"I think this is an opportunity to look back at that history and to learn from it," Flono said. "Not be scared of it, to learn from it."

Once renovations are complete, the museum plans to host a grand opening to celebrate the school’s new home sometime in 2024.

Contact Destiny Richards at drichards5@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookX and Instagram.

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