Douglass High School
Douglass High School is a historical school in the Leesburg, Virginia area. Built in 1941, it was the first African American high school in all of Loudoun County, Virginia. Additionally, it was the only school for African American students in Loudoun County prior to the end of segregation in 1968. On October 8th, 1991, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on September 24th, 1992, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
In the early 1900s of Loudoun County, the only school which would serve to educate African American students was a small section of the Loudoun County Training School. This small section was not nearly an adequate educational space for African American students, and as a result, the African American community of Loudoun County began to raise funds in order to buy land on which they could build a proper school for African Americans. After raising the money and purchasing the lad for the school, the Loudoun County school board was hesitant to make any action in regards to the construction of a new school. Despite the resistance, the African American community of Loudoun did not back down, and in 1941, the board finally passed to borrow funds from the State Literary Fund of Virginia in order to fund the construction of a school for African American Students, but only after potential legal action had been threatened.
Construction on the school began almost immediately, and it was named Douglass High School, after the abolitionist Frederik Douglass. In September of 1941, construction was finished, and the school was opened for classes. The school served its purpose well for several decades, and with the passing of desegregation in 1968, the school ceased its operations as a high school, and for a time, it served as a middle school. In the 1990s, it served as a special education school, and it shared space with the Douglass Community Center. On October 8th, 1991, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on September 24th, 1992, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.