The McBride Colored School opened in 1928 at the site of where today stands the Rosenwald Community Center. It was one of the 800 schools built in North Carolina for African Americans. Between 1917-1937 there were 4,977 schools, 217 teachers’ homes, and 163 shop buildings built throughout the South.
Conceived by Booker T. Washington and his Tuskegee Institute staff in the 1910s, the Rosenwald program was a tremendous effort for the improvement of rural schooling for African American youth. Julius Rosenwald, The Chicago philanthropist and Sears Roebuck and Company president who helped provide matching grant funding for building the McBride Colored School and thousands more schools like it across the South during the segregation era.
The McBride Colored School, located on this site, had four classrooms, an auditorium, office, and a kitchen. The school stayed in operation until closing in 1961. Over the years, the school fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1996. Local leaders worked simultaneously to secure funding and built the Rosenwald Community Center in its place. This marker commemorates the work and vision of those early educators and leaders.