Clayton County

Clayton County and City of Jonesboro will preserve 90-year-old historic Black school

JONESBORO, Ga. — To some people, the old brick building along Smith Street in Jonesboro is just an old brick building.

Former student Helen Meadows knows better.

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“It’s very special, near and dear to my heart. It’s where I spent most of my childhood days, first through the eighth grade,” Meadows said.

It was first known as The Jonesboro Colored School. It was built in 1931 for African American students in a segregated South.

The school was one of 5,000 such schools built all across the Southern states with the financial help of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who for a time worked closely with Booker T. Washington.


“We’ve joined together for several years to decide what to do with our Rosenwald School. We knew we wanted to preserve it,” Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day said.

The city has designated the property as an official historic location. Clayton County Schools owns the property and has pledged $1.5 million to restore the building.

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Meadows grew up to learn she attended classes during a time of great injustice. But Meadows said she is grateful that this was her school.

“I love who I am. I love being Black. I wouldn’t change a thing if I had the chance. I’m glad for my culture and what the school meant to me and what it means for the future,” Meadows said.