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P.S. 67 Charles A. Dorsey School

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First independently-led Brooklyn school for African American students

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Fort Greene
Institution, African/ American, Education

Place Matters Profile

Written by Prithi Kanakamedala for Place Matters

With a history dating back to 1827, P.S. 67 Charles A. Dorsey School was the first independently led educational initiative for black Brooklynites. Named after Charles A. Dorsey, the longest serving principal after the Civil War, the school’s rich history reflects a determination to overcome racism and segregation in the classroom and beyond.


In 1815, a resident of the village of Brooklyn opened the first private school for black students at his home on Main Street in the neighborhood we now know as DUMBO. Peter Croger, a free black man, placed an advertisement in the local newspaper, the Long Island Star indicating that the “African School” would be open during the day and evening for “those who wish [to] be taught the common branches of education.”

In 1827, the year that slavery ended in New York State, the village’s black community opened...

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Colored School No. 1 Records, Brooklyn, Manuscripts and Archives, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

Carla Peterson, Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth Century New York City (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011) and

Francis Morrone, The Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Neighborhood and Architectural History Guide (Brooklyn Historical Society, 2011).

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