Conclusion: Resilience Through the Generations

When looking at Laurel Grove, though it’s a story that’s well documented through the museum and work by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, we can look at it from a different perspective to gain more insight into Black life in Franconia. With McKittrick and Woolf, we can look at the site's resistance to the ways white supremacy ordered the world for these generations of Black Northern Virginians. How this same site continued to be one of resistance and transformed into an actionable site of memory as a museum beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They resisted suburban development and reclaimed/uncovered local, family, and community history that is vital to the these sites, and in creating a museum, conveyed these stories to the local community and beyond. It is continuing the founders’ legacy by keeping the school as a place of learning and education into the 21st century. It faces new challenges as attacks on the teaching and study of Black history increase. But this place has weathered worse storms and will rely on its history of resilence to get through. As Laurel Grove School is nearing the 100th anniversary of its closing, it remains a powerful place to educate Americans on Black history in Fairfax County.

Map of Black Life in Franconia


By Rachel Robinson

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