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.”