ANDERSON ROSENWALD SCHOOLS Added to The National Register of Historic Places
Thanks to the work of pioneering grassroots activists and the National Trust’s Rosenwald Schools Initiative, Rosenwald schools have begun to be identified, preserved and celebrated.
In 1912 Booker T. Washington, prominent educator and proponent of the power of self-help, approached Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., with his idea of building schools for African-American children in the rural South. Rosenwald had already demonstrated his interest in supporting building programs by offering matching grants for construction of African-American Y.M.C.A’s.
In the 1920s, the president of Sears, Roebuck and Co, Julius Rosenwald, created a fund to build schools in the rural areas of 15 southern states to enable black children to get an education during segregation. The schools were financed with matching grants from the Rosenwald fund, local governments and the local black communities. The Rosenwald School building program is recognized as one of the most important partnerships to advance African-American education in the early 20thcentury. The program gave African-Americans unprecedented access to education and a stronger sense of community pride in the segregated South. By 1928 one in every five rural schools for black students in the South was a Rosenwald school, and these schools housed one-third of the region’s rural black schoolchildren and teachers.
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“Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers.
Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. Justpeace.org explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society.
Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears.
Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi
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