North Brevard History - Titusville, Florida

1985 Black School Reunion
July 19-21

Dedication of Temporary Negro School marker.

Mr. Rhodell Murray, the master of ceromonies for the Black School Reunion, unveils a temporary plaque at the July, 1985 ceremony
dedicating the Social Service Center in memory of the Slain Civil Rights Leader Harry T. Moore.

Quote: Titusville Negro School:
Following temporary sites on Washington Avenue in 1883 and on Dummitt venue in 1886. Titusville Negro School was located on this
site in 1915. It housed grades 1-8. The original building was burned in 1931, and a new 8 classroom frame building was erected.
An auditorium was added later. The school grew to 12 grades, and the first high school class was graduated in 1938.

After the new Andrew J. Gibson school was opened in 1957, this site was abandoned and the old building razed.

Negro School students celebrate their past

St*r-Advocate Features Editor
July 11, 1985

The homecoming celebration July 19-21 of students who attended the Titusville Negro School during its years of existence — 1915 to 1956 — will be a time of looking back and "looking up."

Reunion cover. Click for more information.
Cover of Reunion brochure. Click to go to more information.
Homecoming coordinator Frank Williams said the weekend of activities will include fun, reminiscing and "all the traditional things people do at reunions, but it also will be a celebration of a lot of substantial contributions by pioneers that we take for granted." More than 400 former students are expected to attend.

The weekend will be dedicated to and will salute the memory of two prominent blacks: Victoria Gibson Rogers, a teacher at the Titusville Negro School for many, many years and daughter of Andrew J. Gibson for whom the Gibson School was named; and Harry T. Moore, educator and civil rights activist who died in a bombing of his Mims home on Christmas Eve in 1951.

The site of the former Titusville Negro School on Wager Avenue, now the DeLeon Avenue location of the Titusville Social Services Center, has been designated by the city as a historical site. A ceremony will be at the old school location, Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m. for the erection of a historical marker.

Williams said participants will assemble at the County Courthouse and will march the four blocks to the Social Services Center "honoring the pioneers of Titusville and North Brevard for their efforts in behalf of education for blacks." A temporary marker will be displayed until a state "Historical Marker" arrives.

The march, Williams said, will not be a protest, but a celebration.

Reunion activities will start with a reception at the Gibson Center at 6:30 p.m. followed with a dance at 9:30 p.m-1 a.m. Following the marker ceremony Saturday, the group will have a picnic at Fox Lake Park at 12:30 p.m. Sunday an honors and recognition dinner will be at Parkway Center at 2 p.m.

The Wager Avenue school, which was fondly nicknamed "The Old Barn," represented a significant step in black education at the time it was opened. The first black school opened in 1883 on Washington Avenue "in the back of some shop," and a few years later moved into a one-room structure on Dummitt Avenue at South Street.

When a new white school was opened in 1915, black community educators went to bat to get the old building for the black students. "They took the old building and pulled it across the railroad tracks with mules to the Wager Avenue site," Williams said. It was to house grades one through six until 1927 when it went to nine grades. In 1936, 10th grade was added and a grade a year followed until it had 12 grades in 1938.

The Old Barn

The "Old Barn" — 1915-1956

Back to: A History of the Negro School in Titusville, Florida


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