A dedication ceremony will be held in Robstown Nov. 17 commemorating the city's only African-American school.
The public is invited to the 2 p.m. ceremony at the corner of Upshaw Boulevard and Avenue F. The ceremony will be spotlighted with the erection of a marker at the existing building, now named the B.T. Cherry Christian Activity Center owned by Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
The site formerly housed the Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School from 1918 to 1965, the first and only African-American school in Robstown, before integration.
The school played an important part in Robstown's African-American community. Some of the citizens of the community saw a need to religiously and academically educate African-American children so they rented a building in the Wasson Maynier addition of Robstown that would serve as a church and school.
The school was initially called the Colored School, followed by the name South Side School, before it moved to the corner of Park Street, now known as Upshaw Boulevard, and Avenue F.
When it moved to its last location, the school was renamed after Phyllis Wheatley, a famous African poetess.
The school was comprised of first- through eighth-grade students, meaning students who wished to attend high school had to attend school in Austin.
Later, the Solomon Coles School in Corpus Christi opened its doors to Phyllis Wheatley students of Robstown to finish high school.
The event will recognize and honor former teachers and students, both alive and deceased.
Texas public officials and local dignitaries are on the program for greetings, followed by placing the special marker on the former elementary school building.
Members of Robstown's African-American community have applied with the Texas Historical Commission to have a historical marker placed on the grounds at a later date.