The Friends of Hockessin Colored School #107 has paid back a $100,000 loan from the African American Empowerment Fund of Delaware (AAEFD), a statewide endowed fund at the Delaware Community Foundation.
The AAEFD loaned the money to Friends of HCS #107 in 2012, then under the leadership of William Allen, to help save the historic Hockessin Colored School from foreclosure. The school building, which played a central role in the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, was slated to go to sheriff’s sale and likely would have been destroyed to clear the land for redevelopment.
By making the loan, the AAEFD bought time for the Friends of HCS #107 to raise additional funds and establish a partnership with New Castle County government, said William Allen, who was AAEFD chair at the time of the loan and one of the founders of Friends of HCS #107. Now, the school building that helped bring down segregation is now being redeveloped into a center for diversity training, inclusion and social equity.
“The members and supporters of the AAEFD are proud to have been able to participate in the saving of our Delaware historic monument,” AAEFD Board Chair Melanie Daniels said. “We look forward to celebrating with the Friends of the HCS #107 as it becomes a national historical site.”
About Friends of Hockessin Colored School #107
Established in 2012 to preserve and leverage the historic building for the public good, Friends of Hockessin Colored School #107 is a 509(a)(2) Public Charity under (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). The Hockessin Colored School, which was built in 1920 to serve Black children who were not allowed to attend school with white children, played a pivotal role in the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education. The related case at Hockessin School 107C, Gebhart v. Belton (1952), was one of five similar cases appealed to the high court. It was the only case in which the lower court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, effectively causing Delaware to set the precedent for the Supreme Court’s final ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.
About the AAEFD
The AAEFD is an endowed fund and Giving Circle at the DCF. Donors give $1,000 each, and the money is pooled and invested. Earnings are used to award grants each year to causes of interest to Delaware’s African-American communities statewide. For more information, visit delcf.org/aaefd.