Born enslaved in neighboring western Prince William County in 1852 – Jane “Jennie” Serepta Dean – founded Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth in 1893. The site is just west of downtown Manassas, and though no school buildings remain, it is now commemorated as the Jennie Dean Memorial Site. This four-acre property includes a life-size bronze statue of Jennie Dean standing with an outstretched hand as an inviting gesture to lift others up. Historical messaging is throughout the site.
Her legacy began with a dream to build an academic and industrial school where African American students could learn a useful trade. Starting as a private residential institution, the school evolved into a regional public high school for African Americans, ultimately becoming an integrated public school. It was the only high school serving African Americans in all of Northern Virginia
at the time.