Booker T. Washington High School
1916 - 1974
??From the day it opened its doors in 1916 Booker T. Washington High School played a major roll in the life of Columbia's black community. Originally a school with all grades, eventually it evolved into a Junior-Senior High School, until 1948 when Booker T. Washington was the only high school for blacks in the city. When the school closed its doors in 1974 nearly 90% of the of the black high school graduates in Columbia had something in common - they had all graduated from Booker T. Washington. To the young men and women of several generations, Booker T. Washington was the source of learning and intellectual development, a home for the greater part of the day, and a community center.
??The school had as great an influence on the black community as it did on its students. Concerts, dramatic presentations, operettas, and other public performances were a part of the cultural life of the community. Commencement exercises at the school were events long remembered by the community. Many parents who had come from humble beginnings saw their dreams unfold as they sat in the audience and watched their sons and daughters receive their High School Diplomas.
??A building is but bricks and mortar, subject to decay and destruction. A spirit is indestructable so long as it is cherished in the hearts of men and women. So it is with Booker T. Washington High School. The building is gone but the spirit of community service and pride which its students learned within its walls still lives.
??Therefore, in recognition of the influence of Booker T. Washington High School in the development and education of the black youth of the city of Columbia and of its significance in the life of the black community of the city. The University of South Carolina has caused this plaque to be erected so that the building which nourished the spirit of all Washingtonians shall be forever remembered. Erected in the City of Columbia in the year of the 200th anniversary of the Independence of the United States, the 175th anniversary of the founding of the University of South Carolina and the anniversary of the opening of Booker T. Washington High School.
??The original Booker T. Washington High School building was demolished in 1975. Some of the bricks from this historic structure were used in the paving of the university's Horseshoe.