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Published on February 5th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Kickoff of Booker T. Washington High School Centennial Celebration Announced

Pictured: Booker T. Washington Class of 1961

COLUMBIA SC -The Booker T. Washington (BTW) Centennial Celebration Committee and the Booker T. Washington Foundation announce the first in a series of events commemorating the centennial of the school Feb 28 at 3 p.m. at the Booker T. Washington Auditorium on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

The inaugural event, open to the public, includes a roll call of BTW graduates from 1916-1974, beginning at 8 a.m. Church bells across the city will peal at 2 p.m.  The program includes the unveiling of the BTW Giving Tree, special tributes to graduates and former staff who are 90 and older and showing of the BTW documentary. The committee is seeking community assistance in identifying such persons, and information may be submitted to the foundation at 803-764-7274 or email by Feb. 21.

Other planned activities include Heritage Weekend- June 24-26, presentation of a 100-voice John W. Work Chorus, reunion of Block W recipients, publication of the first volume of BTW Families and the Black and Gold Gala.

The historic school—bounded by Wheat, Blossom, Bull and Marion streets—opened in 1916 as the second public school for African Americans in the Columbia school system, serving grades one through 10. The first class graduated in 1919. From 1916-1948, BTW was the only high school for African Americans in Columbia. For many years, BTW was the largest public high school for African Americans in the state and among the few public schools in the state accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. BTW was sold to the University of South Carolina in 1974.

To perpetuate BTW’s educational, athletic and cultural tradition, the Columbia Panhellenic Council established the Booker T. Washington High School Foundation in 1974.

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