A history project that resulted from a partnership between Greensboro College and the Peeler-Swann Family Association has won the Greensboro Historical Museum’s 2012 Voices of a City award.
Mike Sistrom, professor and chair of the Department of History at Greensboro College, Justin Payne and the Rev. Linda Wharton accepted an award for “J.C. Price School: If These Walls Could Talk.” The oral history project is supplemented by text, maps and other graphics and video interviews.
Sistrom and seven Greensboro College students researched the history of J.C. Price School and the surrounding Warnersville neighborhood, helping to, as Sistrom wrote, “collect and preserve the memory of a proud institution that was the beating heart of Warnersville from 1922 to 1971.”
Sistrom’s research team pursued a variety of primary and secondary historical sources and interviewed Price School alumni and teachers. Their work was first shared at a community presentation on the Greensboro College campus, then with the North Carolina Collection of the Greensboro Public Library.
Warnersville was Greensboro’s first neighborhood for free black people. According to the project, it was created in 1868, when a white man, Yardley Warner, sold 35 acres to a group of former slaves, who created a community for other ex-slaves and African American migrants.
J.C. Price opened in 1922, serving grades 1-9 as the only black school in Warnersville. In 1971, when a federal court order desegregated the Greensboro City Schools, Price became a magnet, and the Peeler-Swann Family Association, a group of Price alumni and former teachers which meets annually, was formed to keep memories of Price School alive. Price was closed in 1983 and then purchased by Guilford Technical Community College, which sold the property in 2003 to Greensboro College. The College currently is offering the property for sale.
The project is online at museum.greensboro.edu/jcpriceschool.