In celebration of Black History Month, the Illinois State Society, in partnership with the Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park Campaign presents a discussion of the life of Julius Rosenwald.
Julius Rosenwald, who was born in 1862 while Abraham Lincoln was president, in a house just one block from the liberator’s own home in Springfield. A child of German immigrants, he bought into Sears, Roebuck and Company—the Amazon of its day. He partnered with Booker T. Washington to build almost 5,400 Southern Schools in communities of color. Fully 35 percent of all Black children in the South (and 27 percent of all Black children in the US) were educated in a Rosenwald school in 1932.
He was a generous backer of Black colleges. He funded the construction of 22 YMCA/YWCA community centers and urban dormitories during the segregated era. And he funded a third of the litigation costs of the Brown v. Board of Education case which ended school segregation.
Panelists include: Dorothy Canter, Ph.D. – President Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park Campaign; Robert G. Stanton – Vice President Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park Campaign; Stephanie Deutsch, author of “You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South”; Aviva Kempner, documentary film maker; and Moderator Alan Spears of the National Parks Conservation Association.