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This school, completed in 1911, is the only building in the city that is named in honor of Alexander Crummell (1819-1898) and was the first public school for blacks in that area. Alexander Crummell (1819-1898) was a scholar, educator, and writer. He was born in New York to Charity Hicks, free-born, and Boston Crummell, a self-emancipated oysterman who often spoke of his childhood in West Africa. He received an A.B. degree in theology in 1853 from Queens College in England, an unusual achievement for the time. He was an ordained minister of the Episcopal church and spent nearly 20 years in Liberia as a missionary, educator, and public moralist. He returned to the United States in 1872 and was recruited to become rector of St. Mary's Chapel that year. During his tenure, St. Mary's was accepted as an official church of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Crummell would serve as pastor of St. Luke's Church from its founding until his retirement in 1894. In 1897 he was one of the founders of the American Negro Academy. He was a major influence on the thinking of W.E.B. Du Bois and members of the Garvey movement.

The school was one of the first buildings designed by white architect Snowden Ashford after he was appointed in 1909 as the city's first municipal architect. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

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