Money still sought for turning segregation-era blacks-only Brownwood school into museum
BROWNWOOD, Texas —
Nearly half a million dollars are needed to restore the former Rufus F. Hardin High School in Brownwood into a multi-purpose facility that would include a museum and event center.
It was Brownwood’s only black school and became desegregated once the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools in their landmark decision of Brown vs. Board of Education.
The school closed shortly after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Hank Hunter with the Rufus F. Hardin Museum, a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing the school, said they hope to raise at least $400,000, mostly through grants.
"We want to restore the building, make it a museum and to allow people to rent the auditorium," Hunter said.
He said in the 20 years since the project’s conception, they haven't raised enough funds towards fulfilling their goal.
The school was started by a former Virginia slave who fought in the American Civil War.
Besides being recognized as a Texas Historical Landmark, Rufus F. Hardin High School is listed in the National Register of Historical Places.
People interested in donating money to help create the museum can write a check to Rufus F. Hardin Museum, Inc., P.O. Box 1968, Brownwood, Texas, 76804.