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Fri, 07.14.1899

The St. Emma Military Academy Opens

*The St. Emma Military Academy is celebrated on this date in 1899. This was a Black military school founded during American reconstruction and located in Powhatan County, Virginia.

Also known as St. Emma's Military Academy, it was a school for Black youths in Powhatan, Virginia. It was founded as the St. Emma's Industrial and Agricultural Institute. The school was located at the Belmead plantation where Philip St. George Cocke enslaved hundreds of Black men, women, and children. In 1897, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament conveyed the property.

In 1897, before the academy, St. Francis de Sales School had been established by Katherine Drexel. St. Emma was named after Drexel's stepmother. The school's founders, Edward de Vaux Morrell and his wife Louise were from Philadelphia. St. Emma's Military Academy closed in 1972.

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Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and the grace To bear my anger proudly... THE WHITE HOUSE by Claude McKay.
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