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Christiansburg Institute wraps 1st season of BUZZ 900 538 Michael Hemphill

Christiansburg Institute wraps 1st season of BUZZ

BUZZ concluded its first season in August 2021 with a special two-part episode featuring the Christiansburg Institute. Watch both parts now on our YouTube channel!

For 100 years, the Christiansburg Institute stood as one of the finest schools for Black Americans in Virginia. Founded in 1866 just a year after the Civil War put an end to slavery, Christiansburg Institute became a testament to African-American self-preservation, educating thousands of students on its 185-acre campus. Education giants such as Booker T. Washington served as superintendent.

But in 1966 school integration finally took hold in Virginia … and Christiansburg Institute’s legacy was quite literally whitewashed away. Its academic buildings were shuttered. Its students scattered to previously whites-only schools. Its land subdivided and sold off. Today all that’s left is one abandoned building on four acres.

But there’s a group of passionate people dedicated to preserving its history … and creating a catalyst for community conversations, racial justice and change. Helping them is Spectrum Media Solutions, which designed and donated a new website so they can share their story to a national audience.

BUZZ is a program of AAF Roanoke and is sponsored in part by the Virginia Film Office.