In the Beginning

On April 29, 1902, W. P. Evans, a well-to-do-Black businessman, wrote Booker T. Washington requesting an able person to assist in the education of the Laurinburg, North Carolina “Negro” population. When no help came, Mr. Washington, along with Mr. William Edwards, asked recent Snow Hill graduates, Emmanuel and Tinny McDuffie to accept the challenge of going to North Carolina to start a school, of which they did. They literally walked from Alabama to North Carolina to establish the Laurinburg Institute as a trade and high school in 1904. The school founders possessed only a small piece of swampland and a dream of providing quality education and guidance for black children. The school opened in a one-room building with 15 cents in the treasury.

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