Loretta Lynch was just confirmed as the first black female attorney general after a 166-day wait for the vote. Loretta’s father, Rev. Lorenzo Lynch, says her story begins with Julius Rosenwald, who built 5,300 public schools for African American children around the country. Loretta’s mother went to one of the Rosenwald schools. Loretta herself was very intelligent, doing so well on a standardized test that her white teachers made her take it again. She graduated top of her senior class from Durham High School. But still, Lorenzo was shocked when he found out about his daughter’s nomination. Republicans used her nomination as a “proxy fight against Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.” Lorenzo believes that his daughter’s legacy will be, “Don’t give up.”
To read more about Lynch’s connection to the Rosenwald schools, click here for the article from Politico, and to learn more about Julius Rosenwald, don’t forget to check out Rosenwald when it hits theaters all over America later this year.
Last night, April 19th, Rosenwald screened at the Nashville Film Festival. After the screening, a Q & A was held with director Aviva Kempner, interviewees Frank Brinkly and Peter Ascoli (grandson of Julius Rosenwald), and editor Marian Sears Hunter. It was exciting to show the film near Fisk University, where so much research had been done for the film, and the Cairo school, whose restoration we had filmed.
At the end of the festival, the was named the winner of the Lipscomb University Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
On April 10th, Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens was honored on a 15′ by 15′ mural, created by Duke Ellington students under the guidance of artist Mark Walker and presented by newly-elected Mayor Muriel Bowser.
It was presented on behalf of the students of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a DC public school. Winner of four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Owens was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave. At the height of his fame, he lived in the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments, also know as the Rosenwald. He would go for his daily run and slow up so the children who ran with him could keep up.
The mural project was done in partnership with Duke Ellington, the DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
For the Jewish community in America, the memories of Lincoln’s death have a slightly different perspective than those who are not a part of the Jewish faith. Dying on a Saturday, the same day as the Jewish Sabbath, many of the first responses were given from the pulpit. Also, some of the rabbi recited the Hashkabah (prayer for the dead) in honor of Lincoln, the first time the prayer had been used for someone who was not Jewish. To read more about it, click here to look at an article by the Weekly Standard.