Monday, July 17, 2006

Quick lesson on Rosenwald schools

From the 1910s to the 1930s, more than 5,300 schools for African Americans were built across the South, and about 800 of them are in North Carolina – more than any other state.

Their history brought a packed house to the Levine Museum of the New South on Sunday. Speakers included Peter Ascoli, grandson of Julius Rosenwald, the philanthropist who launched the partnerships that built the schools; George Wallace and Herm Zeigler, who collaborated on the renovation of the Billingsville Rosenwald School, which is now in use as a community center in the Grier Heights neighborhood; and novelist Dori Sanders (“Clover”), whose father was a principal at a Rosenwald School near Rock Hill.

“My formal education is spotty,” Sanders told the crowd, “but thanks to a man by the name of Julius Rosenwald, my reading is deep.”

Sanders lives on a peach farm in South Carolina, and brought bags of peaches to sell at the museum - the crowd eagerly snapped them up.

For more on the history of the schools and to find the locations for schools in the Charlotte region, see and


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting! I went to Billingsville School in the 6th grade actually 1996-1997... had no idea about the history behind it though

11:46 AM  

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