Film celebrates philanthropist behind Rosenwald schools

Documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner was inspired when she heard civil rights leader Julian Bond speak about the 5,000 schools for black youths that Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald helped establish across the South from 1912 to 1932.

“It is one of the great unknown stories of philanthropy,” Kempner said. “I’ve always been so horrified by the Jim Crow era. (Rosenwald’s story) made me really proud as a Jew.”

Kempner’s documentary “Rosenwald,” a 12-year labor of love, is being screened Sunday at 3 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.

“Rosenwald schools” were built in states from Maryland to Texas, but more were established in North Carolina – 787, plus 26 workshops and teachers’ homes – than in any other state, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

(News & Observer, 2/27/2016)

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