The History

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The History


“No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place."   - Maya Angelou

From the Beginning

In 1910, the Havre de Grace Colored School was built at Stokes and Alliance Streets and provided education for primary school age children.   Although high schools for white children existed in Harford County since 1896, Harford County policy provided education for African-American youth only through grade 8.  As a result, African American students seeking a secondary education had to travel to Baltimore, Cecil County, Philadelphia or elsewhere to obtain a public high school education. 

The Community Leaders

In the 1920’s, Mr. Clayton C. Stansbury, Sr. and other community leaders led the effort to establish a county-wide Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for Colored Schools. In 1930, as a result of

 Mr. Stansbury’s and the Colored PTA’s efforts, the County agreed to established the first public high school for African-American students. Despite this victory, there was some disagreement between communities about whether the first colored high school should be in Havre de Grace or Bel Air.   After much discussion, the County selected Havre de Grace as the location for this historic site.   

Educating Students

The Havre de Grace Colored School proceeded to service grades 1st through 11th. To house the high school students, a four room brick building was erected adjacent to the existing 1910 white framed building structure. This new portion was referred to as the Havre de Grace Colored High School. Lower grades met at a variety of locations, including the Chesapeake Lodge #314 IBPOE. High school music classes, assemblies and industrial art classes (called “Manual Training”) occurred at St. Mathew A.U.M.P. Church, which also served as the school’s auditorium.  

Havre de Grace Consolidated School 

The class of 1949 would mark the last class at Havre de Grace Colored High School that graduated after completing the 11th grade. Starting in 1950, students were required to complete a full 12 years of education before graduating. In 1953, Havre de Grace Colored Schools (elementary and high school) were moved to 201 Oakington Road and were combined and renamed the Havre de Grace Consolidated School. Havre de Grace Consolidated serviced kindergarten through grade 12.   

Mr. Leon S. Roye and Dr. Percy V. Williams

The 1964-65 school year would mark the final graduating class of the Havre de Grade Consolidated School due to the integration of black and white students in the Harford County Public Schools System. At the time, the County renamed Havre de Grace Consolidated to Oakington Elementary. Currently, the school is named Roye-Williams Elementary School after the former principal of Havre de Grace Consolidated, the late Mr. Leon S. Roye, and the former principal of Bel Air’s Central Consolidated, the late Dr. Percy V. Williams.    

Cameo: Janice Grant

By Amy Mulvihill, the Baltimore, February 2013

"I went to Havre de Grace Colored High School. Not many people of color actually finished high school. Believe it or not, they couldn’t afford to pay to ride the train to Havre de Grace. It was something like 15 cents, but if you didn’t make much money—[if] you did house work or something like that—and [if] you had four or five children, that amounted to quite a bit of money.  [L]ater, the County did supply a bus. . . . I know it’s hard to imagine, but at that time, it was quite a feat for everyone to finish high school."