“Place” has the power to tell important stories. Some places, and the history they reflect, are too important to lose; at least without a fight. Hockessin School #107C is such a place because of its connection to the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending segregation in public schools, Brown v. Board of Education. A pair of cases from the Delaware court system affirming the inequality of segregated education were argued by famous Delaware attorney Louis L. Redding before Judge Colin Seitz. That combined decision was then included as one of the five state court cases appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by NAACP Attorney and future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, accompanied by Redding and others.
Since being closed as a school in the 1960s, the building has served as the Hockessin Community Center. Expansion to the building to better accommodate programming needs began but was halted in 2009 for lack of funds to pay the contractor. The construction firm who did the work is suing for payment of the $200,000 owed, putting the property under threat of being lost to Sheriff’s Sale.
Attorney and retired Judge Joshua Martin, and retired Judge Leonard Williams are leading the effort to raise the needed funds. Tony Allen, chairman of the African American Empowerment Fund of Delaware, announced support by the Fund to match $100,000 of donations raised by the end of March, when the property is scheduled to be sold.
You can help! Donate on-line at the Delaware Community Foundation web site: www.delcf.org. Specify “Friends of Hockessin Colored School 107” from the drop-down menu. It’s my history, and yours too. Give what you can. I did.