Gadsden launches Carver Legacy Project

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Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford announced on June 29 the City of Gadsden’s 2023 Carver Legacy Project, honoring the Carver High School Class of 1972.
A historical asset to the city, Carver High School was built in 1936 as the first full 12-year public school for African-American students.
However, the school was a casualty of desegregation efforts and in 1971, was permanently closed. At that time, the Gadsden City Board of Education split the Class of 1972 into various local high schools, unfortunately stripping away the graduating class’s right to a true graduation from their alma mater.
At the direction of Ford, a partnership with the Gadsden Museum of Art, the Carver Legacy Museum, and the City of Gadsden has been formed to honor Carver’s Class of 1972. Two distinct monuments will be placed in the courtyard of the Central-Carver Museum with bronze plaques containing the names of those who were in the 1972 graduating class.
“The legacy of Carver High School has resonated throughout Gadsden and really the world,” Ford said. “The alumni and former students of Carver have gone on to do amazing things in our community and country. The fact that students and families had to disperse in the middle of the school year because of overt racism is hard to understand today. Yet, it was real and it happened. And we need to honor the strength and resilience of the Class of 1972 and every graduating class thereafter who would otherwise have attended Carver High School.”
Once the monuments are ordered and built, a public ribbon cutting will be scheduled for the community to witness the unveiling of the new monument.
“I hope the community will join me in uplifting and memorializing this story so generations can learn of what took place here while appreciating the legacy of Carver High School and its living impact on Gadsden and Etowah County,” Ford said.
The city is encouraging everyone to consider contributing to the Carver Legacy Project, acknowledging the past and honoring the legacy of Carver High School and its graduates.
The Mayor’s Office has pledged $10,000 in discretionary funds to launch the project.
Anyone interested in supporting the Carver Legacy Project can contact Ray Wetzel with the Gadsden Museum of Art.

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