The Washington Post has an article about the grand opening of a Prince William County Public School – Samuel Gravely. The school is named for the nation’s first black Vice Admiral, Samuel Gravely.

According to his widow,

“There were people who didn’t want to be on a ship with him. There weren’t many blacks in the Navy,” Gravely said. “One time, he was taken to jail in Key West, Florida, for impersonating an officer. He was an officer, and he was in an officer’s uniform.”

13 Thoughts to “WP: Final Salute to a Navy Pioneer”

  1. DiversityGal

    Another great honor bestowed upon this already accomplished man…I think it is lovely that the school is named after him, and I’m sure the students will be proud when they learn of his history of service. Here’s to a wonderful opening year for Gravely staff and students!

  2. NotGregLetiecq

    This article brought tears to my eyes. It’s wonderful to see our county government embracing Black History in this way. A good step toward getting our good names back as a county that welcomes all. Thanks Alanna.

  3. Brave man and an inspiration to all who struggle. Thank you. I have to read the full article later.

  4. Chris

    Great story. Thanks for posting it. Not many schools are name after people in PWC that often. This is a great tribute to Admiral Gravely.

  5. info

    Prosecutions may result from city’s sanctuary policy of harboring convicted felons
    The Examiner (Washington, DC), August 19, 2008

  6. DiversityGal



  7. Slither hither

    Info-What’s that got to do with school? Nice try.

  8. Slither hither

    Or a story about an outstanding citizen of our community for 30 years. Get a life.

  9. Emma

    I would love to meet Alma Gravely. She sounds like one cool lady.

  10. Censored bybvbl

    It’s good to see this man honored by having a school named after him. And his widow’s statement, quoted above by Alanna, is a reminder of the excuses used to keep blacks, women, and others from many professions for which they were qualified.

  11. Marie

    What a great story. Thanks, Alanna.

    Info – what is up with you? Can’t we just honor Admiral Gravely and his accomplishments.

    The folks on the dark screen would have loved to read the article about San Francisco.

    Most of us wanted to honor a man who had a pretty significant career and who lived right here in Prince William County.

  12. Elena

    Great story Alanna, thanks for posting it!

  13. Cindy B

    Thanks for posting this, Alanna. Here’s another local hero who is being honored:

    On Monday, August 25, at 5:30 p.m., Fannie W. Fitzgerald will cut the ribbon at a newly constructed state-of-the-art elementary school named in her honor. Born and raised in complete segregation, Mrs. Fitzgerald made history in 1964 when she and three other African American educators stepped across the thresholds of white-only classrooms to teach in Prince William County public schools. The ribbon-cutting is uniquely historical considering the school is located on a street named in honor of Mrs. Fitzgerald’s daughter, 1984 Olympic gold medal hurdler Benita Fitzgerald Mosley.

    Come on out and help honor this extraordinary woman — Fannie W. Fitzgerald Elementary School is located at 15500 Benita Fitzgerald Drive, and will welcome 900 students when school opens in less than two weeks.

    If you need directions or more info, call Kim Fitzgerald Lennon at 571-221-0697 or e-mail at

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