Rosenwald Schools of Rusk County

   "In informal usage, a Rosenwald School was any of the over five thousand schools, shops, and teachers' homes in the United States which were built primarily for the education of African-American children in the South in the early 20th century. The project was the product of the partnership of Julius Rosenwald, an American clothier who became part-owner and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company and the African American leader Booker T. Washington.
   The need arose from the chronic underfunding of public education for African-American children in the South, as black people had been disenfranchised at the turn of the century and excluded from the political system in that region. Children were required to attend racially segregated schools.
   Rosenwald was the founder of The Rosenwald Fund. He contributed seed money for many of the schools and other philanthropic causes, requiring local communities to raise matching funds to increase their commitment to these projects.
   To promote collaboration between white and black citizens, Rosenwald required communities to commit public funds and/or labor to the schools, as well as to contribute additional cash donations. White school boards had to agree to operate and maintain the schools, and millions of dollars were raised by African-American rural communities across the South to fund better education for their children... In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Rosenwald Schools near the top of the country's most endangered places and created a campaign to raise awareness and money for preservation. At least 60 former Rosenwald Schools are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2015 the National Trust classified the Rosenwald Schools as National Treasures." [Wikipedia]


Rosenwald Schools of Rusk County

   In Rusk County, Texas, there were 22 Rosenwald (colored) schools that were built in the mid-1920s. These schools were originally started by newly freed slaves shortly after 1865 and flourished until after 1965 when all schools were court-ordered to integrate and merge with other schools. Most of the students have passed on, but there remain a few of them who are thriving well into their 80s and 90s.
   The schools are listed in the Rosenwald Fund Card File Database at Fisk University, as follows:
   Anadarko, Big Spring, Church Hill, Clover, Concord, Fredonia, Friendship, Glade Springs, Goldsberry Chapel, Harris Chapel, Lone Star, Mt. Enterprise school and shop, Mt. Moriah, New Hope, New Prospect (Antioch), Oak Hill, Pertle or Pirtle, Smith’s Chapel #14, Star-Bailey, Sulphur Springs and Tatum school. More (no detail) information about these schools can be accessed online at http://rosenwald.fisk.edu/.