• Note: Much of the history of the Richmond Public Schools was recorded in the context of a segregated society, and the reader should readily discern between pre- and post-desegregation observations. The terms "black," "colored," "Negro," and "white" in this booklet should not be considered offensive as they have been used according to the custom of the particular period. Since 1962, the division has omitted such racial designations from its reports and publications.

Blackwell School (James H.)

  • 1600 Everett Street
    (Everett Street between 16th & 17th Streets)

    Named for James H. Blackwell, a highly respected citizen of the community, teacher, and former principal of this building when it was known as Maury School. It was annexed from Manchester in 1910. In 1915, the name was changed to Dunbar (for the noted colored poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar). In 1951, with the organization of a junior high, the school was renamed Blackwell.

    The three different buildings of this property (erected 1888, 1915, and 1950) were joined together. After it became known as Blackwell School, a new gymnasium was occupied (February 1956) and an annex was built at 25th & Bainbridge Streets (opened September 1955). The administrative area was air-conditioned in 1967.

    Blackwell converted to elementary school use in 1970-71. In 1980, it was one of eight elementary school renovation projects. The State Department of Education funded a pilot project for at-risk students at Blackwell (1987-88).

    Blackwell currently operates as a model school with a "family and community education" theme.


    1952-1953 885 (elementary) + 213 (junior high)
    1970-1971 1,492
    1991-1992 496 (Blackwell Primary not included)


    1955-Gymnasium Marcellus Wright & Son
    1980- Renovation Joseph Ciucci, Jr.


    1955-Gymnasium $161,566
    1980- Renovation 394,136


    1951-1970 Richard Lawrence Armistead
    1970-1974 Elizabeth Morrison Wall
    1974-1986 Ronald Lorenzo Carey
    1986-1991 William F. Johnson, Jr.
    1991­ William H. Joyner

    Blackwell Annex
    Blackwell Primary
    Dunbar School