• Q & A: Brent Leggs

    October 15, 2020

    The National Trust has a long history working to save Rosenwald Schools, including a place on the 2002 America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List. In addition to the National Trust’s efforts to raise awareness and provide assistance, grassroots activists, local governments, and churches that own Rosenwald Schools are finding creative new uses for them.

    Recently, Antiques and the Arts conducted a Q&A with Brent Leggs, the executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Leggs explains the importance of Rosenwald Schools, saying “Arguably, the Rosenwald Schools story is equal to Brown vs Board of Education. It’s one of the most important educational stories of Twentieth Century America. It’s also important in today’s time, telling how a multiracial community, including Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald—men from different backgrounds—came together as social justice champions in their fight against the inequitable and poor educational facilities that Black kids and families had to endure across the South.”

    Leggs also said, “The National Trust and National Parks Conservation Association have collaborated on the newly created Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park Campaign with the goal of establishing a multi-site park in the National Park System telling the story of Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools. This would be the first of more than 420 National Park Service units to commemorate the life and contributions of a Jewish American.”

    Ask your members of Congress to support the preservation of Rosenwald School here.

    Read the full article in Antiques and the Arts online.

  • Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation Introduced on Behalf of Rosenwald Schools

    June 26, 2019

    On June 13, Congress took a big step towards establishing a national historical park that would honor the legacy of Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) jointly introduced the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools Study Act (H.R. 3250/S. 1863), which would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of associated sites and craft a path forward to commemorate this vital part of our nation’s history.

    The National Trust played an integral role in creating a national campaign to support these efforts. Stay tuned for more information and a way for you to get involved this summer. In the meantime, contact your members of Congress and ask them to support this new legislation.

  • Rosenwald Schools Mapping Project Receives National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant

    January 17, 2017

    On January 12th, the National Trust for Historic Preservation received a $50,000 federal grant through the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program for the Rosenwald Schools Mapping Project. The funded project will enhance documentation and interpretation of extant Rosenwald Schools and the stories they tell. Using story maps, combining spatial information with text and audiovisuals will promote greater understanding of the schools' past and present.

    "Through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, we're helping our public and private partners tell unique and powerful stories of the African American struggle for equality in the 20th Century," National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds said.

    In 2016 Congress appropriated funds through the historic preservation fund for the $7.75 million grant program in support of historic preservation of sites associated with the civil rights movement and stories of the African American experience. In total, 39 projects (including projects two other National Treasures sites, A.G. Gaston Motel and Pauli Murray House) were funded in over 20 states.
  • Virginia County Board Recognizes Plans to Restore Rosenwald School

    September 8, 2016

    The Campbell County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors formally announced its support for a local preservation group's plan to restore a former Rosenwald School in Rustburg.

    "In Campbell County, Gabe Hunt and the Rev. T.W. Tweedy mortgaged their homes for $500 to help build the Campbell County Training School. It offered the first post-sixth grade education for black students in Campbell County. The curriculum was designed by Booker T. Washington and focused on trades for men and women."

    This is another excellent example of local preservationists coming together to support the restoration of a Rosenwald school in their community.

    Read more on the WSLS-TV website.

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