Cast Your Bucket Where You Are: Booker T. Washington and the Rosenwald Schools

- Webb, Susan*
Using photographs, documented interviews, historical artifacts, audience participation of authentic recitation lessons and tales of early American education, America’s Traveling Schoolmarm will transport you to the legacy of Julius Rosenwald and the schools he helped build in the back roads of Alabama. Julius Rosenwald, the early 20th-century president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, was a German-Jewish immigrant, philanthropist and trustee of Tuskegee Institute. From 1912 until 1932, his generous caring and compassion for the education of 663,615 African-American children helped blanket 15 Southern states with over 5,300 school buildings, 407 of which were built in Alabama. His collaboration with Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee Institute, and grassroots community efforts resulted in a program which constructed schoolhouses, teacher homes and industrial high schools across the South. By 1928, one in every five African-American rural schools in the South was a Rosenwald school. Makeshift classrooms in run-down shanties and dusty church basements were replaced with well-constructed and carefully planned Rosenwald school buildings. Today, through the efforts of local residents, the National Trust of Historic Preservation, and generous corporate contributions, many Rosenwald schools are being restored in southern communities, including Notasulga, Greensboro, and Midway, Alabama.

The speaker can provide a screen, PowerPoint projector and computer for the presentation.