Andrew Feiler, A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America
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Born to Jewish immigrants, Julius Rosenwald rose to lead Sears, Roebuck & Company and turn it into the world’s largest retailer. Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington became the founding principal of Tuskegee Institute. In 1912 the two men launched an ambitious program to partner with black communities across the segregated South to build public schools for African American children. This watershed moment in the history of philanthropy―one of the earliest collaborations between Jews and African Americans―drove dramatic improvement in African American educational attainment and fostered the generation who became the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement. Of the original 4,978 Rosenwald schools built between 1917 and 1937 across fifteen southern and border states, only about 500 survive. To tell this story visually, Andrew Feiler drove more than 25,000 miles, photographed 105 schools, and interviewed dozens of former students, teachers, preservationists, and community leaders.
Beyond the photographic documentation, A Better Life for Their Children includes an introduction from the late Congressman John Lewis, who attended a Rosenwald school in Alabama.
About the Author:
Andrew Feiler, a fifth-generation Georgian, is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in museums, galleries, and magazines and is in a number of private collections. His photography is focused on the contemporary complexities of the American South. More of his photography can be seen at andrewfeiler.com.
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL JCC LITERARY CONSORTIUM