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Rosenwald Project Aimed To Improve Black, Southern, Rural Schools

In part one of Cassandra Bell's three part Black History Month series we take an inside look at the Rosenwald Project in eastern North Carolina.

A now dilapidated school in Creswell in Washington County, the Cherry Colored School, was part of a program conceived in the early 1900's by Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. The program was a massive effort to improve black rural schools in the south.

"The school is where I started in 1940, but my parents even went here right after the school was built," said Charles L. Sutton who
Attended St. Luke School.

By the 1930's more than 5300 Rosenwald buildings blanketed 15 southern states with our state getting the lions share- a record 800 Rosenwald schools were built in north carolina.

As many of these structures stand almost forgotten, and falling apart,Not all have let the light dim on this landmark in black history.

"It was a fun place, you enjoyed it It's so much that I'm still in love with it," said Sutton.

Sutton is in love and wanting to see the memory preserved.

Next week Cassandra Bell continues her look at the Rosenwald Project as we meet some of the students who attended schools in both Bertie and Martin counties.


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