City to unveil panel recognizing 1950 Walker-Grant High School graduates
The City of Fredericksburg on Thursday, February 10 will unveil a historical panel commemorating the Walker–Grant High School demonstration that occurred in June 1950.
The event will start at 1 p.m. in front of the Dorothy Hart Community Center at 408 Canal Street.
This event is open to the public, and alumni of Walker-Grant High School are encouraged to attend. Due to the on-going pandemic, the event will be held outside under a tent. Seating will be provided, and masks are required. In the event of a cancellation, the notification will come from City of Fredericksburg social media outlets.
Speakers include Mr. Sonny Holmes, who championed that the City tell this story. During the unveiling commemoration, the names of the 27 graduates will be read. The event will be shared on Facebook Live on the Visit Fredericksburg, Virginia page.
In June 1950, the largest Walker-Grant High School graduating class, needing a location for their commencement ceremonies, were denied access through the front doors of the Fredericksburg Community Center due to the color of their skin. With help from Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site), the graduates held their ceremony at the church, but not before protesting in front of the Fredericksburg Community Center with signs that read “This Entrance Closed to US.”
This will be the fifth installation of a history panel/historical marker in the past 14 months related to City Council’s Priority to “continue telling a more complete history of our diverse community, including the history and contributions of African Americans.” The earlier installations feature: The Green Book, Freedom Riders Challenge a Nation, French John’s Wharf, and a State Historical Marker on the First Stop on 1961 Freedom Rides. The City’s commitment to develop and share stories that showcase the diversity of our region is critical to ensuring that Fredericksburg is a city where WE means everyone.