African American alumni honored at Wilbraham & Monson Academy

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – On Saturday, Wilbraham & Monson Academy honored their notable African American alumni from the 1800’s.

Nearly 20 people gathered at the preparatory school’s campus center for the unveiling of the “In Pursuit of Excellence” exhibit. The exhibition highlights notable alumni, such as Nat Turner’s grandson and education pioneer John Jefferson Smallwood, among other notable names.

Nancy Brown, the daughter of a student who graduated in 1955, told 22News why the exhibit is so important to history.

“We’re all Americans, and this is all of our history. Though there may be a unique number of people who know about these African American people, we wanted everyone to know about it and be inspired by it,” Brown said.

Brown’s father was instrumental in assisting with the exhibit.

State Rep. Bud Williams (D-Springfield) and Lujuanna Hood, director of the Pan African Historical Museum USA in Springfield were among the guests. Ancestors of African American Civil War veterans were also in attendance.

Today, Wilbraham & Monson Academy has students from 32 countries and 11 different states.