Mrs. Helen Lumpkins Robinson Day was a well-known teacher at Parker-Gray School and at Charles Houston Elementary School. She was born in Alexandria, VA in 1905. She was a trailblazer in advocating for a daycare center for African Americans. She was on many committees and raised money for many disadvantage African Americans.
“The Other Alexandria’s Column,” in the Alexandria Times Newspaper
For Black History Month, I would like to highlight two articles that I wrote. The second article written this month in February 2022; I wrote an article on Mr. Holland who was a teacher at Parker-Gray School. He wanted the students to have the same activities that were available in the white high schools. Mr. Holland volunteered as a coach and recruited other teachers until funding was allocated for a full-time coach.
Mr. Holland taught at Parker-Gray from 1933 to 1965. He retired in 1966 but did not stop teaching. He became a substitute teacher staying in the school system until he was 82-years old.
Behind the scenes of the article titled, “Sarah A. Gray: Principal of Hallowell School.”
Sarah A. Gray was one of two people that Parker-Gray School was named after. She was a remarkable woman who was educated as well as a talented pianist and an organist.
Due to the death of her father, William Gray and two lawsuits, Sarah started experiencing health issues. Her father, William Gray died in 1891.
Sarah filed two lawsuits against Reverend Robert H. Robinson’s son, Reverend Robert B. Robinson, for slander. The other lawsuit was against her stepmother and relative, Alfred Peters concerning her father’s estate. Due to these heavy burdens, Sarah died in 1893 – just two years after her father.
A detailed article is available in the Alexandria Times dated, September 9, 2021 on, “Sarah A. Gray: Principal of Hallowell School on pages 17 and 18 at
Over 70 years ago, Charles Hamilton Houston died from a heart attack. He was the godfather of the Civil Rights Movement. Attorney Houston knocked down one segregation case after another. He and a team of lawyers, which included his former student, Thurgood Marshall, worked on the Brown vs. Board of Education case. This case was based on segregation in the public school system.
Charles was the lead lawyer who took the case all the way to the Supreme Court; but he did not live to see the final Supreme Court decision. Charles Hamilton Houston died in 1950 and the Supreme Court decision on Brown vs. Board of Education was made in 1954 disbanding segregation in the school system.