An FGSJ Zoom Talk on 22 March 2023 at 6.30p.m. (U.K. time)
Matthew Webster from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will speak about the Bray School, the oldest school dedicated to Black education in the United States. Matthew will unlock the discovery, research and history of this significant site, including its relocation and future at Colonial Williamsburg.
The Bray School was founded in 1760 by the England based group, The Associates of Dr. Bray, to educate both enslaved and free Black children in Williamsburg, Virginia, instructing over 300 students from 1760-1774.
Years of research had been unable to conclusively identify the structure as the building that housed the Williamsburg Bray School. The research conducted in partnership with William & Mary, and partly through dendrochronology, finally identified the structure conclusively in 2020. It is currently being relocated close by, to the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg, where its restoration will begin. Future research will highlight how these students used their instruction to make meaning of their lives outside of the ideology shared by the Associates of Dr. Bray.
Matthew’s lecture will showcase the discovery process, ongoing research, and future restoration plans for the Bray School.