Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum and Education Center
The Myrtle Beach Colored School was the only school that African American students were allowed to attend during segregation. The school opened in 1932 and was the primary source of education in Myrtle Beach for the Black community outside of local churches. The school ceased operation in 1953, coincidentally one year before the Brown vs Board of Education ruling in 1954. this ruling did not actually end segregation in Horry County bu the need for the old schoolhouse was eliminated by the opening of the carver Training School.
Backstory and Context
The end of the Civil War and the abolishing of slavery served to change very little for Black people in South Carolina. While this is generally true through out the country, it was especially devastating in the South. Education was a tremendously difficult obstacle for the African American community, as states sought new ways to exclude Black citizens. During segregation African American students were refused entry into the local public schools. While some of them received no formal education, many were educated at their local church.This began to change slowly in the early 20th Century in Horry County, as the African American community became more insistent about their need to receive academic opportunities in the area. This time period began to see slow growth in education for the African American community.
In 1932 the Myrtle Beach Colored School was built to provide an education for the African American children in Myrtle Beach. This was the dawning of a new era in the Myrtle beach area. Originally the school was geared towards grades one thru eight and no transportation was provided for the students. These young students were required to walk to school as they witnessed their white age mates ride to their schools on buses provided by the school district. What segregation stole from the lives of these young children it provided in security and employment for African American teachers. The treatment that Blacks received at that time would have ensured that theses children would be victims of harassment, taunting, and other forms of emotional and physical trauma.
Although segregation was wrong and harmful, the African American community stood strong and utilized ‘their’ school as an academic beacon of light in the Myrtle Beach Community. This school served the community for over twenty years and was discontinued as a school in 1953 when the Carver Training School was completed. The building was utilized for various business purposes for the next twenty years and eventually fell into disrepair by the mid 1970’s. A grassroots effort to restore the school failed initially but was later revived and with a joint effort of the former students and the City of Myrtle Beach led to a dynamic restoration on another community site.
The Horry County School District once a source of segregation and discrimination also financially supported this effort and agreed to place the local adult education program in the newly built facility. This effort really took off after a large national home builder agreed to contribute over $150,000 in labor and supplies to the project. After a year long construction period the school opened in 2006 and has recemented itself as a heart of the academic community in Myrtle Beach. The Facility is now comprised of the Colored School museum, which is staffed by former students. The adult education center and “A Father’s Place,” which provides resources to non-custodial fathers. The Myrtle Beach Colored School provides visitors with an opportunity to look back and learn and look forward and hope. The residents of Myrtle Beach are true examples of citizens that care about one another
“Myrtle Beach Colored School.” Welcome to Myrtle Beach, SC. Accessed March 26, 2020. https://cityofmyrtlebeach.com/.
September 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM EDT - Updated July 27 at 10:50 AM, and WMBF News Staff. Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum stands as historic reminder, September 25, 2013. https://www.wmbfnews.com/story/23516929/myrtle-beach-colored-school-museum-stands-as-historic-reminder/.
“Myrtle Beach Colored School.” Eastern South Carolina Heritage Region, November 1, 2018. https://www.easternscheritage.com/mb-colored-school/.
WMBF News MYrtle Beach, Sc
WMBF News Myrtle Beach, Sc
WMBF News Myrtle Beach, Sc