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A Better Life for their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America

Feb 07 | Mon |
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This is a story of how two very different people came together to make a difference in the world. Julius Rosenwald, born to Jewish immigrants, rose to lead one of the world’s largest retailers – Sears, Roebuck & Company – and Booker T. Washington, born into slavery, became the founding principal of Tuskegee Institute. In 1912 the two men launched an ambitious program to partner with Black communities across the segregated South to build public schools for African American children. Of the original 4,978 Rosenwald schools built during 1912-1937 across 15 states, approximately 500 survived. To tell this story visually, Andrew Feiler drove 25,000 miles, photographed 105 schools, and interviewed dozens of former students, teachers, and preservationists. A fifth-generation Georgian, Feiler will share some of the photographs capturing interiors and exteriors, schools restored and yet-to-be-restored, and portraits of people with compelling connections to these schools.

All speakers are $8 members / $10 non-members. This event will be held in honor of Black History Month.

Registration is available through our new system. Visit to register (if you have not yet created a community account, you must do so here. If you have already created an account for summer speakers or other programs, please log in using that account).

For instructions on how to register, click here.

For a full list of our Virtual Cultural Arts Speakers and Events, visit For more information, please email

Venue: Virtual

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