Remembering Parker-Gray in Alexandria

Remembering Parker-Gray in Alexandria

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary

In September 1920, the Parker-Gray School opened for African American students grades 1–8. Located on Wythe Street, the school was named for the two principals of the previous segregated elementary schools in Alexandria – Principal John Parker of the Snowden School for boys and Principal Sarah Gray of the Hallowell School for girls. Henry T. White was its teacher-principal with a staff of nine additional teachers. Parker-Gray was the only elementary school in Alexandria with an auditorium because of Mr. White’s insistence that one be placed in the architectural plans. The boosters and parents had to buy chairs for the auditorium, a stage curtain, wastebaskets, desk clocks, coat racks for teachers, $1,000 worth of equipment for the Home Economics room, reference books, roller maps and globes, a typewriter, a Victrola and records, a lantern slide with 600 slides as well as cover half of the cost of window shades for the building.

• Select Office of Historic Alexandria Museums are open with new safety protocols in place, including masks required indoors and hand sanitizing stations. Admission to all City-owned museums is free for City residents.

• Just Opened: Alexandria Archaeology Museum

The Museum is now open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m.

Visitors can view the museum’s most recent exhibit “Preserving Alexandria’s Maritime Heritage,” featuring a 1:12 scale model of the Hotel Indigo Site ship and an artifact case showing Alexandria’s links to the world. The exhibit tells the story of the vessel from excavation to preservation, and contextualizes Alexandria’s role within the broader 18th century maritime world.

• The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. Timed Tickets are required, and can be purchased here.

Guests can enjoy the recently opened exhibit Witnessing Worship: A Photographic Study of Faith in Alexandria. In 1985, photographer Nina Tisara documented fifty worship groups throughout the City of Alexandria. She sought to document “the breadth, variety, and vitality of worship in the city.” She came to call her project Converging Paths because the experience led her to conclude that, despite the many different paths worship takes, “we are all kin.”

This online exhibition provides a sampling of the photographs.

• Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. For a discount on admission, purchase timed entry in advance here.

Come tour the Museum at your own pace and immerse yourself in the spaces and stories of the tavern. Take a selfie with the “Learned Pig.” Reenact a ball as you dance to music in the ballroom. While touring, you’ll learn how all social classes and people—free and enslaved, men and women, African American and white—were part of not just the tavern but the creation of Alexandria and the young nation.