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Rosenwald Documentary Film Screening

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Dumas Center

108 1st Street Northwest

Roanoke, VA 24016

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Preservation Virginia and the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation proudly present Rosenwald, a film by Aviva Kempner. Rosenwald tells the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century.

Challenged by Rosenwald to match his contributions, local African American communities raised thousands of dollars to help build the schools. In total, 367 Rosenwald schools were built in Virginia in the early 1900s. In partnership with the Department of Historic Resources and the National Park Service, Preservation Virginia is currently undertaking a comprehensive survey of Rosenwald schools to determine how many remain standing, what condition they're in and any possible adaptive re-uses for the sites.


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Dumas Center

108 1st Street Northwest

Roanoke, VA 24016

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