Monmouth County Historical Association

As part of its “Historically Speaking” lecture series, Monmouth County Historical Association is pleased to welcome back Dr. Walter Greason who will speak on the topic of his latest book, “Suburban Erasure: How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey.” The lecture, in celebration of Black History Month, will be held at the Court Street School at 140 Court Street, Freehold, at the corner of Rhea (parking lot entrance on Avenue A) on Sunday, February 24th, 3-5pm.

Dr. Greason is the Executive Director of the International Center for Metropolitan Growth. For the last twenty years, he has established himself as the world’s leading authority on the economics of race and metropolitan growth and has advised hundreds of businesses and organizations on fiscal management, investment, and development strategies. He also currently serves as the Treasurer of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (www.sacrph.org) and is an officer on the Membership Committee of the Organization of American Historians. Recently, Dr. Greason won recognition as a Visiting Scholar at James Madison University in Virginia and his new book “Suburban Erasure” is available now and will on hand for purchase and signing at the lecture. Dr. Greason is Assistant Professor of History, and Coordinator of the African American and Africana Studies Program at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. He is also the author of “The Path to Freedom – Black Families in New Jersey.”

The Court Street School is one of the principal structures associated with the segregated history of early 20th century education in Freehold. The original school was organized in 1915 in a one-room wooden building, exclusively for the education of African American children. The existing brick building was constructed in two phases in 1920 and 1926. All African-American children in Freehold were educated here from kindergarten through 8th grade until WWII when it was used as an air raid shelter and ration station. It was reopened as an integrated school for kindergarten through 3rd grade in 1949, until it closed in 1974. It became a community education and historical center in 1990 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1995.

The lecture is presented in partnership with the Court Street School and is part of a weekend long celebration entitled Africa to America hosted by the Court Street School Education Community Center. On Saturday, February 23rd from 3pm – 6pm at the First Baptist Church, 81 West Main Street in Freehold, visitors will be treated to live performances, open mic poetry, instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers.

Dr. Greason’s lecture is open to the public and admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Please call 732-462-1466 for further information or to let us know you will attend. The Court Street School is accessible to persons with disabilities. If there are any special needs that require accommodation, please contact the Association at 732-462-1466 within 24 hours of the presentation.

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