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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  • by RN Location: Pitt on Feb 9, 2012 at 02:57 AM
    If "WHITE" schools, "WHITE" people or "WHITE" anything was mentioned people would go crazy and say thats special treatment for "WHITES" and they would be called RACIST !!
    • reply
      by Native on Feb 9, 2012 at 06:17 AM in reply to RN
      Exactly. If we're equal then lets be equal. Either do away with Black History any and everything or give us a caucasian american of european decent history any and everything!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 8, 2012 at 09:49 PM
    It's also American Heart Month. How about a story about that too? Why be typical?
  • by From Wiki on Feb 8, 2012 at 08:47 PM
    "Despite Rosenwald's matching donations toward the construction of black schools, by the mid-1930s, white schools in the South were worth, per student, over five times what black schools were worth per student (in majority-black Mississippi, this ratio was more than 13 to one)"...so this would imply that blacks were unable (or unwilling) to help fund their own schools. Now that public school is "free", nobody has to pay (unless they work). What a great system! Much better than the 1930s. {sarcazm}
  • by So... on Feb 8, 2012 at 08:20 PM
    Is it just as honorable to memorialize public places (like restaurants) that served "whites only" back in the 1950s? As I recall, that was a wonderful happy time in our lives.
    • reply
      by dee on Mar 6, 2012 at 08:37 AM in reply to So...
      if it was so wonderful and happy, fight to get it back, you will probably have lots of followers.
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