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History as Teacher
A historic African-American school house that was is once again a place of learning—this time, about genealogy.

A historic school house that was both a symbol of racism and a ray of hope for generations of black families is once again a place of learning — only this time, the lessons go beyond the three R's to explore community and family roots.

The recently restored Ellicott City Colored School, located in Ellicott City, Md., is Howard County's first school built with public funds for black children. "Previously, colored schools, as they were called, were held in churches or whatever building might be available," says Adele Air, historic sites program coordinator for the Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks, which purchased the school property and oversaw the renovation, "I believe that even though the Ellicott City Colored School, Restored reflects the racism of the late 19th century, it is a milepost in the ongoing struggle for equality."

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