Throughout the month of February, APS will celebrate Black History Month, as we celebrate the many contributions African Americans have made in our schools, our community, and our country. This year, we’re recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods, Halls Hill.
Located in north Arlington, Halls Hill began as a segregated black community, with its own churches, businesses, fire station, and school. The four black students who integrated Stratford Junior High School on February 2, 1959, were from the Halls Hill neighborhood. The former Stratford Junior High School is now Dorothy Hamm Middle School, renamed after one of the driving forces behind school desegregation—Dorothy Hamm.
APS is proud to share the rich history of Halls Hill with our students and community by sharing a four-part video series that features interviews with residents and inspiring stories. Episodes include a look back at the all-black Langston school; the history of local Fire Station #8; the importance of Calloway United Methodist and Mount Salvation Baptist Churches; and the segregation wall built in the 1930s to physically separate the black homes from the surrounding white neighborhood. Check back here during the month of February for these episodes.
Episode 1: Segregation Wall
Episode 2: Langston School
Episode 3: Churches
Arlington and Arlington Public Schools have come a long way since the days of segregated schools, but there is always work to do. It’s important to remember where we came from and recognize the struggles and successes of those who came before—especially the families of black neighborhoods in Arlington like Halls Hill, Johnson’s Hill, and Green Valley.
Thank you to the John M. Langston Citizens Association & AETV for their contributions to this project.
Follow along on Twitter as we celebrate all month long with #APSBlackHistory.