Lakeview School has recently received recognition on the National Register of Historic Places, marking a significant milestone in its rich history. The commendable efforts of various individuals and organizations, including Reverend Dr. Charles B. Jackson Sr., esteemed senior pastor of Brookland Baptist Church, and the dedicated Board of Directors and staff of the Brookland-Lakeview Empowerment Center (BLEC), have culminated in this well-deserved achievement.
During the unveiling ceremony, there was an overwhelming sense of affection and fond memories as attendees reflected on the school’s vital role during a crucial period in South Carolina’s secondary education. While the building no longer serves its original purpose, it now houses the BLEC, widely recognized as an exceptional facility and a valuable resource for improving the quality of life for residents in Lexington and Richland counties, as well as those residing in the Midlands region of South Carolina.
Originally constructed in 1949, the Lakeview School underwent expansion and updates between 1952 and 1961 through funding from the state’s equalization program. Notably, it stands as the sole high school to have served Black residents in Lexington County’s Brookland-Cayce School District, and it holds the distinction of being the only historically segregated Black school in West Columbia. Following the wave of desegregation in 1968, the Lakeview School ceased operations, marking a significant turning point in South Carolina’s public education system.
United States Representative James E. Clyburn, a dedicated representative of the Sixth Congressional District, utilized this occasion to highlight the importance of historical markers throughout the state, as they serve as reminders of the pivotal role that high schools played in the holistic educational development of African Americans during the era of segregation and beyond. Representative Clyburn expressed his hope for the proliferation of such markers across South Carolina, envisioning that children walking down these streets and playing on this ground would encounter these markers, recognize the names inscribed on them, and connect with the inspiring legacies they represent. Such awareness, he believes, fosters a profound understanding of identity and instills a sense of limitless potential for future generations.
Representative Joe Wilson, the esteemed representative of the Second Congressional District, echoed the sentiments expressed by his colleague, emphasizing the tremendous achievement and offering his commendations to all those involved in making this significant decision.
Reverend Jackson’s visionary leadership paved the way for the establishment of BLEC, illustrating his commitment to community empowerment and progress. His unwavering dedication to preserving the historical significance of Lakeview School has resulted in this momentous occasion, reminding us of the school’s enduring legacy and its impact on generations to come.
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