Namesake of Embattled Historic School in D.C. Celebrated

Sept. 10 marks 121 years since the death of the Rev. Alexander Crummell, founder of the historic St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in D.C.

Crummell’s powerful legacy influenced well-known Black intellectuals and scholars such as Marcus Garvey, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and W.E.B. Du Bois, who wrote on Crummell in his 1903 work, “The Souls of Black Folk.”

To recognize Crummell’s impact on the fabric of Black life, Empower DC and the Friends of Crummell School will hold the Crummell Saint Day Celebration in partnership with St. George’s Episcopal Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the Union of Black Episcopalians’ D.C. chapter.

The event, which takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at St George’s Episcopal Church in northwest D.C., will feature musical selections, a theatrical performance of one of Crummell’s greatest speeches, remarks on Crummell’s legacy by Howard University Professor Greg Carr, a short film on the community’s efforts to reclaim Crummell School and a call to action by the Friends of Crummell School.

Crummell is also the namesake of Ivy City’s historic Crummell School, which was founded in 1911 but has been abandoned since the 1970s despite ongoing advocacy from Ivy City residents that it be reopened as a community center to serve youth and adults.

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