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Sat, 09.14.1867

The Brooklyn Colored School, (Oakland, CA) Opens

Class, 1870

*The Brooklyn Colored School opening is celebrated on this date in 1867.  This school served Black children from the town of Brooklyn, as well as Oakland, CA from 1867 to 1871.  

Located at 1008 10th Avenue, Miss Mary J. Sanderson Grases was the first teacher.  She was an excellent and kind instructor, who continued to teach at the Oakland school until families in the district began to move in search of better employment opportunities. As at least ten children had to attend the district school in order for it to remain open.  A newspaper article in 1871 noted that the school had 18 students, most of whom were from Oakland.  When three families moved away the school was forced to close. 

An article published in 1872 asserted that the school was closed because Mrs. Grases decided to give up teaching as a career, but Delilah Beasley's book says it was because many of the families moved from the area, and with the integration of the Oakland schools, was no longer necessary. Mary married James E. Grases in 1871, and their daughter was born later that year.

Regardless, following the closure of the school in 1872, schools in both Brooklyn and Oakland were integrated. The school was located in "the old Manning house". After the school was closed, it was the home of Oakland Sunshine newspaper founder John A. Wilds and his family. The school's building was about as close you could get to the Southern Pacific yards at the time. 

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Reference:

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