Rosenwald School Resources
Rosenwald Schools were schools that were built between 1912 and 1932 by African American communities that received technical and financial assistance from Julius Rosenwald (mostly via the Rosenwald Fund), whose contribution in turn leveraged support from local school boards. They constitute the most numerous and easily recognizable type of school built by African American communities during the segregation era.
The Rosenwald School building effort, structured as a matching grant program, began with a $25,000 gift Julius Rosenwald made in 1912 to Tuskegee in support of teacher training. At the behest of Booker T. Washington and Clinton J. Calloway, Rosenwald allowed $2800 of that money to be used in a pilot program to help communities build small rural schools. From 1912, when the first six Rosenwald Schools were built in Alabama, to 1932, when the Rosenwald Fund ceased funding schools, the program helped to construct over 5,000 buildings for education across the South: 4,977 schools, 163 shops, and 217 boarding houses for teachers (Hoffschwelle, 2006).
Documenting your local Rosenwald Schools is exciting but challenging. Here are some resources to help you begin your journey: