Podcast: How the Rosenwald Schools powered a renaissance in Black America

Elroy and Sophia Williams hold a photo of Sophia's grandparents, who were born in slavery but accumulated 1,200 acres of farmland and contributed two acres for a Rosenwald school. They are standing in that structure, the former Hopewell School in Bastrop County, Texas, which Elroy is working to preserve  Photo: Andrew Feiler

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Elroy and Sophia Williams hold a photo of Sophia's grandparents, who were born in slavery but accumulated 1,200 acres of farmland and contributed two acres for a Rosenwald school. They are standing in that structure, the former Hopewell School in Bastrop County, Texas, which Elroy is working to preserve Photo: Andrew Feiler

This week, we’ll hear from Atlanta photographer Andrew Feiler about some historic buildings and their impact.

Hidden all over the South are structures that once powered a renaissance in Black America. Some are modest, two-room clapboard structures. Others are three-story brick buildings. All were built through a unique partnership between white mail-order magnate Julius Rosenwald and Black educator and leader Booker T. Washington. Atlanta photographer Andrew Feiler discovered the story of these structures while working on another project, and was shocked that he hadn’t heard the name Rosenwald before. In 2014 Feiler set out to find and photograph the Rosenwald schools that still stand, and to bring the Rosenwald story into the light. The AJC’s Bo Emerson recently spoke with Feiler about his work and he’ll bring us that conversation.

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