The Ralph Bunche Alumni Association is praising what its president, Claudette Jordon, describes as a “phenomenal and monumental endeavor” to preserve the school’s legacy of racial and educational equality.
Rep. Rob Wittman, R–1st District, recently entered remarks into the U.S. Congressional Record about the history of Ralph Bunche High School in King George County. Wittman had attended a Founder’s Day event in King George last fall, to kick off what was supposed to be a year-long celebration of the county’s 300th anniversary.
Many events had to be canceled because of COVID-19. But as Wittman talked with Jordon about Ralph Bunche, he learned that her family, and relatives of other Black residents, had sued the King George School Board in 1946 for the right to have a facility of their own. The result was the all-Black Ralph Bunche High School, which opened in 1949.
The King George lawsuit was viewed as a test case nationally in the desegregation movement. When Wittman learned about that, Jordon said he wanted to get it into the Congressional Record so the rest of the world would know it, too.
“No one has ever done that for Ralph Bunche before,” she said.
Wittman’s remarks address the history of the school, conceived at a time when “America was still under the wing of the discriminatory Jim Crow laws. As one of the first African American schools to receive equitable contributions in its funding, Ralph Bunche High set the standard for our nation in addressing racial inequality.”
He called its construction a landmark event for the county and said its namesake—Dr. Ralph Bunche, who earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 1950—had a noteworthy history of service.
At the close of his remarks, Wittman asked others in Congress to stand with him to remember the school and “the heroes that participated in its birth and those who continue the legacy to preserve educational equality.”
Wittman also presented the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association with an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol. Jordon is working with local members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars on its proper installation and display.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.