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Rocky Knoll School

Lillian School
Photo courtesy of Fisk University Franklin Library, Special Collections

This three-teacher school was built for the 1925-26 school year. It was constructed on three acres of land and cost $5,750. Of this total, $300 came from the black community, $4,550 from public funds (provided by the Durham County school board), and $900 came from the Rosenwald Fund. It was insured for $3,500. The Rocky Knoll School was located in Oak Grove Township and was completed during the tenure of Jeanes supervisor Carrie Jordan. With other black community leaders, Jordan was actively involved in founding the school, and during her tenure as Jeanes supervisor, Rocky Knoll was among the highest performing schools in the county.

This school replaced one built in 1917. Instead of waiting for the school board to act on its own initiative, with the possible result of receiving a "recycled" white school or some similarly substandard building, the black community of Oak Grove Township built the school, then billed the school board for half the cost. With help from white patrons like Nathan Newbold and W. H. Wannamaker, this strategy was successful.

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