A story map chronicling dozens of early 20th-century schools built for African American and Native American students in Delaware is now available for the public to explore.
The Locating Delaware’s DuPont “Colored” Schools Story Map is the final piece of a project focused on the history of these schools, undertaken by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in partnership with the statewide nonprofit Preservation Delaware Inc. and the University of Delaware’s Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD). In 2021 and 2022, the organizations published findings related to the history of Delaware’s DuPont “Colored” Schools, capturing the oral history of student experiences and a study on the history and current condition of the buildings themselves. CHAD was contracted to build the map with information from these studies.
The new digital feature allows people to explore an online map and click on a specific school to bring up information that was gathered during the survey. A homepage for the story map, found at history.delaware.gov/locating-delawares-dupont-colored-schools, also includes more information about the architectural study and oral history projects, both of which informed the story map.
The DuPont Schools featured in the project are found in all three of Delaware’s counties and were built during an era of segregation. Delaware philanthropist Pierre Samuel du Pont provided the funding needed for underfunded and poorly resourced schools for African American and Native American students in Delaware. While 90 schools were originally built, only 84 could be located through this comprehensive survey, which also collected the information needed to recommend some of the sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The story map, survey and oral history projects were carried out with assistance from the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service, through the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the story map or the associated reports are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of these agencies.
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