MT. HOPE, WV (WOAY) – DuBois High School in Mt. Hope was one of two all-African American Schools in Fayette County. The all-white high school and DuBois became Mt. Hope High School in 1956 after the county desegregated.
However, one woman has worked to ensure the history of DuBois is not forgotten or swept aside.
“I had been collecting this DuBois history since the late ’90s and had it in containers and in closets, and I would take it out about every two years. That is how often we have the DuBois reunion and set up a display,” Jean Evansmore said.
That display turned into the DuBois On Main African American History Museum and Community Room in 2012. Inside, you will find Evansmore, the curator and director.
She can tell you about her own personal experience going to school for two years at DuBois and then finishing up at Mt. Hope and the discrimination she experienced when the school desegregated.
But what the museum is really about is the history of the school and celebrating the successes of those who went on to do great things despite the odds stacked against them.
“Lawyers, doctors, business owners, you name it. You name it. It came out of DuBois High School,” Evansmore said.
One in particular with his own section in the museum, Charles C. Rodgers, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
Evansmore knows if this museum did not exist, the history of this school would remain in boxes, attics and homes and every two years, their giant reunion, but now she has a home for it all.
As a student from the ‘50s, she has seen the country shift and change and says she recognizes the distance it still has to go, but as she gets older, along with the remaining DuBois High School students, she wants the younger generations to take interest.
“The fact that so many people have no awareness of their own history and for me personally, worse yet, they don’t seem to care. They function like what matters started the day I was born. Before that, no.”
Currently, the museum is closed for the winter and will re-open in April.
However, the museum is now accepting scholarship applications for two $500 scholarships that will go to two Fayette County high school students for college or trade school.