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Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Last graduates of Trinity School share memories

Credit: WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL
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Last graduates of Trinity School share memories
Last graduates of Trinity School share memories
Last graduates of Trinity School share memories

After the plane crashed on saturday.

This black history month -- we look more into "trinity school" in athens -- an all- black school that closed in 19-70 when integration went into effect.

Before trinity though -- the land the school sits on was once a civil war battle site.

Waay 31's luke hajdasz talked with some of the last graduates of trinity school and learned what the small cinderblock building mean to them.

Vo: in the 1900s, black children in north alabama thought of trinity school not as a place to be separate from whites, but as a second home for them.

Sot: barbara clemons trinity school class of 1970 "you have to understand, you have to look at the atmosphere.

What it was like in the '60s and '70s.

Here was a place where black folks could come and you felt like you were somebody.

You were treated like you were somebody.

And people cared for you.

And they wanted you to be the best that you could be."

Vo: della dardy graduated from trinity in 1964.

She remembers going to a different window than the whites at dairy queen to get ice cream.

Or only being allowed to sit in the balcony at the theater while the white kids sat close to the stage.

But at school?

Sot: della dardy trinity school class of 1964 "here at trinity..... ......we was just like everybody else."

Vo: trinity school was first built to educate the children of freed slaves in the late 1800s.

Having gone through two fires in two locations, trinity made its home off browns ferry streety in athens - the former location of fort athens during the civil war.

As time went on and the school grew, so did its following.

Sot: david malone trinity school class of 1966 "the people in the community - if you were attending trinity, or if you had graduated from trinity - they treated you as if you had been to college.

That's how much trinity meant to this community."

Vo: today, david is the president of athens-limestone community association.

They've salvaged parts of the school like the original stairs and fountain, but could only save so much of the building that fell apart after it was abandoned.

Nowadays, he and other members of the association work to create awareness of the significance of the school and the land it sits on.

Sotvo: david malone trinity school class of 1966 "this moat went all the way around the fort.

In other words, if the enemy came on top of the hill, they had to come up the hill to attack."

Vo: and that's exactly what happened in 1864.

Confederate general and later grand wizard of the kkk nathan b.

Forrest took over the fort from the colored infantry that were there.

Today, the association - both black and white - works to keep stories like this alive.

And to restore the school to what it once was while making the people of athens aware of the history this site has.

Sot: richard martin athens-limestone community association vice president "we are lucky to be sitting right here.

You should've seen it before we got started."

In athens, for alabama originals, i'm luke hajdasz, waay 31 news.

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Trinity School Memories

Luke Hajdasz talked with some of the last graduates of Trinity School and learned what the small cinderblock building means to..

WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL

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