National Civil Rights Museum to host Rosenwald Schools exhibit

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National Civil Rights Museum to host Rosenwald Schools exhibit

The National Civil Rights Museum will unveil an exhibit highlighting an impactful and often forgotten educational project for Black students during the 20th century.

“A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America” ​​is a traveling photography exhibit about Rosenwald schools built from 1912 to 1937 in the segregated South. The exhibition of 23 photos will be unveiled on Thursday.

Photographer Andrew Feiler spent more than three years documenting what remains of the schools and the stories behind them.

“There wasn’t a comprehensive photographic record of the program, so I set out to do just that. And over 3½ years, I drove 25,000 miles across all 15 program states,” says Feiler, who is also behind the book which inspired the exhibition.

Frank and Charles Brinkley attended a Rosenwald school.  They have since earned advanced degrees and become educators.

Julius Rosenwald, co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and Booker T. Washington worked together to open and fund schools that served primarily Black students in rural communities to improve access to education. There were about 250 in Tennessee alone, with a number in the Memphis area.

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