In the U.S. city of Ashburn, Virginia, there stands a one-room, wood built, 19th-Century-style schoolhouse. This historically significant building was once used to educate black children during a time when it was the safest haven they had from a racist world that would kill dead them just for being literate.
The Loudoun County, Virginia schoolhouse at the center of this story was once called Ashburn Colored School. Another local institution called the Loudoun School for the Gifted has been working with charitable organizations and private donors to help restore the old Ashburn Colored School as a memento of black history in the community.
“The building has been standing for nearly two centuries, but weather and architectural flaws have severely compromised its integrity,” reads a statement on the Loudoun School website.
“Restoring the Ashburn Colored School is a great way to honor the ‘colored children’ who occupied that space from 1892 to 1955, a time in our history when the American dream was not a reality for young black girls and boys,” read another statement on the website, which was attributed to a family member of a former Ashburn Colored School student.
However, the deadly, racially-based hatred that once terrorized the black population in Ashburn centuries ago during Virginian slavery has reared its ugly head again in 2016. According various news sources, racist graffiti has been spray-painted on the old Ashburn schoolhouse.
Swastikas and a message that reads “White Power” are visible on the building, which has been untouched for over 40 years. Since today’s local black students are bringing up Ashburn Colored School’s rich history, racist vandals have come out of the woodwork in order to depreciate the progress being made to restore the building.
Deep Sran, the founder of the Loudoun School for the Gifted told The Washington Post that erasing the graffiti will have to be done delicately in order to prevent further damage to the building. According to CBS News, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating this crime.