Last updated: May 24, 2022
African American Heritage Driving Tour Stop 14: African American Education in West Virginia
Gone are the days of the early 1800s in which African Americans were mainly provided education by missionaries and charitable organizations. The WV legislature passed a bill in 1866 that provided public schools for African Americans, but revised it in 1872 and stipulated that white and black students would be taught separately.
In 1919, the first all-black high school in Raleigh County, named after Reverend Daniel Stratton, was opened and graduated its first two students that same year. The school had already grown to 37 students and 10 faculty by 1933. In 1939, Stratton High School moved to a new facility on South Fayette Street which presently houses Stratton Elementary. By 1967, Stratton High School’s final year, the graduating class had grown to 109 students and consisted of 32 staff members, 10 of which were original graduates.During the 48 years that Stratton served the community as an all-black high school, it graduated 2,786 students, some of which became doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, and ministers.
For the full story go to: Early African American Education: Stratton High School; Beckley, WV
Physical Address: 1129 S. Fayette Street, Beckley, WV 25801
GPS Coordinates: N37.766545 -W81.173965
From Beckley, WV: From downtown Beckley, take South Fayette Street to Stratton Elementary School. Tour Stop (Stratton Elementary School) will be on your left
From Fayetteville, WV: Take Highway 19 south to the exit for Eisenhower Drive and Beckley, WV. Turn left at the bottom of the exit onto Eisenhower Drive and travel to Johnstown Road. Turn right onto Johnstown Road. Cross over Kanawha Street and continue straight on Beaver Avenue until you get to S. Fayette Street (Highway 3). Turn left on S. Fayette Street and travel to Stratton Elementary School. Tour Stop (Stratton Elementary School) will be on your left.
Directions to the next Tour Stop:
John Henry Park
Physical Address: 3262 West Virginia 3, 25951
GPS Coordinates: N37.652038 -W80.762975
From the school, continue on S. Fayette Street to Hwy 3 East and turn right. Travel 29.5 miles on Hwy 3 East to Talcott (you will cross the New River and Greenbrier River). Turn right at the John Henry Park sign at Talcott. Tour Stop and parking are at the end of the road.
Early African American Education in West Virginia (Audio Narration)
Written by: Mark Bollinger Narrated by: Dr. Brucella Jordan Music: His Eyes, performed by The Gospel Singaleers
- Date created: