Post-screening discussion with
Director Aviva Kempner
Please note: this film has sold out.
An idea that began as a dream of Booker T. Washington and Sears Roebuck chairman Julius Rosenwald—building local schools for African American children in the segregated rural South—has today become a major grassroots preservation effort to restore these historic and architecturally unique structures. Between 1912 and 1932, over 5,000 school houses (known as Rosenwald Schools), vocational shops, and teachers’ houses were constructed across fifteen states, and among the more famous alumni of Rosenwald are Maya Angelou, Rep John Lewis, George Wolfe, and Eugene Robinson. Many of these buildings have been in a state of abandonment or disrepair for a long time, but many others have now been saved through grassroots community efforts to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse them. Filmmaker Aviva Kempner shares her experiences researching the life of Julius Rosenwald (a son of immigrants) and she discusses the significance of the Rosenwald School story in today’s world. (Aviva Kempner, 2015, USA, 100 minutes)