Aviva in Virginia

Posted February 29th, 2016 by

On February 20th, Aviva turned out to a screening of Rosenwald at Northumberland High School in Heathsville, Virginia. The screening was teeming with excited individuals, including a large group of Rosenwald school alumni.

A group of Rosenwald school alumni

Members of the Julius Rosenwald School Foundation of Northumberland County at the screening of Rosenwald.

However, this was not an average screening. The Heathville event was organized by the Julius Rosenwald School Foundation of Northumberland County- a group that is currently working to repurposed an original Rosenwald school. Before the screening, Aviva received a short tour of the school.

Aviva and the Foundation members stand before the Rosenwald school

A fascinating, two-story Rosenwald school, the Northumberland collective still has a long way to go in terms of restoration.

You can find out more about how to support the Julius Rosenwald School Foundation of Northumberland County by following them on their Facebook page.

Come see “A Lecture on the Life and Times of Julius Rosenwald”

Posted February 25th, 2016 by

“The Man – The Moments – The Movement”
Building an Educational Legacy in Anne Arundel County

Event Sponsored by:
Presented by:

You are invited to a free public lecture on the life and times of Mr. Julius Rosenwald. History’s foremost leaders in African American education include such celebrated names as Douglas, Washington, Du Bois, and The Little Rock Nine, but also the almost forgotten name of Rosenwald. Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) amassed a fortune serving as president and part owner of Sears Roebuck Company. After becoming friends with famed Tuskegee educator, Booker T. Washington, Rosenwald established a fund to build new, state-of-the-art school buildings for African American children living in the rural South. Between 1917 and 1932, the Julius Rosenwald Fund was responsible for the construction of more than 5,000 new schools in states. In 1940, 23 of Anne Arundel County’s 32 black schools were Rosenwald buildings. The Rosenwald School Building Program advanced African American education in a level unmatched until Brown vs. Board of Education and the subsequent end of segregation.

Guest Speaker: Sherri Marsh Johns

Sherri Marsh Johns has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of architectural research and historic preservation. Her interest in Rosenwald Schools began with her work at Anne Arundel County, Department of Cultural Resources. While there, she researched the County’s Rosenwald Schools and was involved in restoring four of them. In 2006, she founded Retrospect Architectural Research, LLC a consulting firm specializing in historic preservation and cultural resource management issues. Ms. Johns enjoys volunteering her services to nonprofit organizations, and currently serves as executive director of the Smith Island Cultural Center, president of the Lost Towns Project, and is on the board of directors of the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc.

Great DOOR PRIZES and GIVEAWAYS in the name of Mr. Rosenwald.

RSVP to Lisa Craig, Historic Preservation Division Chief, HistPres@annapolis.gov.
For more information, please contact Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles at aldpindellcharles@annapolis.gov or
410-266-6857 / 410-266-5809
The Life and Times of Mr. Julius
Rosenwald is one in a series of lectures
scheduled for 2016 in celebration of
Preservation50,which recognizes the
50th Anniversary of the National Historic
Preservation Act of 1966, and is the
reason we have a federally-certified
historic preservation program in Annapolis.
Walter S. Mills-Parole Elementary School PTA
City of Annapolis, Department of Planing and Zoning, Historic
Preservation Division
Retrospect Architectural Research, LLC
Greater Parole Community Association, Historic Preservation
Committee, Co-Chairperson and Consultant, Mrs. Pearl C. Swann

Married for 64 years and still going strong

Posted February 23rd, 2016 by

Marriage is difficult, complicated and, unfortunately, they often fail. But the failure of marriage is not a rule and many do last for the long run. David and Thelma Driskell have been married for an impressive 64 years *Applause*. They mention responsibility, dedication and an understanding that marriage isn’t all about romance as the keys to their duration. David is a world recognized leading authority on African American art. He is both a professor and an artist, has curated dozens of shows of his own work and other artists. If you would like to hear David speak, although on a different topic, he is interviewed in the Rosenwald film!

To read an interview with the Driskells in the Washington Post, click here.

Also, you can check out the David C. Driskell Center at UMDs website here.

Granddaughter of Jesse Owens remembers a story of brotherhood

Posted February 22nd, 2016 by

One of the highest symbols of athletic victory is surely the Olympic gold medal. Many know the story of how Jesse Owens, an African American track athlete, won this prestigious icon in front of Hitler and a Germany mobilizing for the most destructive war in human history. The film “Race,” which stars Stephan James as Owens, shows the athletic feats of the man, but also conveys a lesser known facet of the story: the feelings of human brotherhood between Owens and his primary competitor, Germany’s Lutz Long.

Marlene Dortch, granddaughter of Owens, commented on this relationship after a screening of the film and forum in Bowie, Maryland. She tells of how the two men pushed past the (racial) politics and tensions surrounding the 1936 Games and competed to the best of their abilities. Long and Owens wrote letters to each other after the games and kept in touch, including a heartfelt letter from Long right before he was deployed as a soldier in Germany’s army. He died of wounds in a British hospital after the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.

The film expresses the bonds that all humans have, despite what the feeling of the moment, political anxieties and even war may try to sever. Dortch sees her grandfather and grandmother as being examples of how to face challenges and maneuver with grace past adversity.

Owens was also a resident of the Michigan Garden Apartments created by Julius Rosenwald that were featured in the film.

Read more in the Washington Post article, here.

The Woodville School to be rehabilitated by T.C. Walker-Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation

Posted February 16th, 2016 by

The Woodville School is one of the few remaining Rosenwald schools. Erected in 1923, the building is found off of Route 17 in Ordinary, Gloucester County, Virginia. The school Woodville School, contrasts with most remaining Rosenwald schools due to remaining in fairly good condition. This is in part because the school has never been completely abandoned, serving as both a home and storage house for antiques since the school’s closing. Wes Wilson, of the T.C. Walker-Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation, hopes not to restore the school, but to rehabilitate it, saying, “Restoration is to take it back to the way it looked at a point in time. Rehabilitation would be to make it a usable product while retaining as much a historical presence as you could.” The foundation plans to add bathrooms, air conditioning, electricity, and other modern conveniences to allow the building to serve as a center for the community.

Read more in the Daily Press article, here.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture

Posted February 16th, 2016 by

On February 8th, Aviva Kempner was invited by Valaida Fullwood to attend a special screening of Rosenwald at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, NC. After the screening, Aviva took part in a Q&A session with the guests at the Gantt Center. The screening was part of the Black History Month celebration, and was in part a promotion for the Levine Museum exhibit, “The Soul of Philanthropy”. The exhibit will remain open until February 28th.

The event was hosted by the New Generation of African American Philanthropists in collaboration with the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

Additionally, it is interesting to note that the Center also recently played host to a great exhibit called, “Art of a New Deal: African-American Artists in the WPA,” the displayed art from Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff, who all also received a Rosenwald fund.

Native Son finally sees a complete and unedited release

Posted February 11th, 2016 by

Thanks to the Library of Congress, the film based on the best selling novel, Native Son, will finally be screened uncensored and in its entirety at Museum of Modern Art. The film, which features dialogue written by the novel’s author, Richard Wright, also places him in the lead role of Bigger. Richard Wright was also the recipient of a Rosenwald fund.

You can read more about the story in the New York Times article, here.

ROSENWALD screening at the National Archives

Posted February 10th, 2016 by

the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater

On February 4th, David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, opened up the evening at the National Archives with a warm introduction for the film, Rosenwald, as well as for Aviva Kempner and author, journalist, and president of the National Archives Foundation A’Lelia Bundles. Bundles also appears in the film.

Archivist David S. Ferriero

The showing saw a large turnout as many enthusiastic viewers stayed for a chance to listen to Aviva and A’Lelia discuss the film after the screening.

A’Lelia Bundles

Photos by Bruce Guthrie.

¡Aviva Las Vegas!

Posted February 3rd, 2016 by

On January 24th, Aviva Kempner headed out to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 14th Annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival. Aviva spoke at the screening with Leslie Smith Rosen, the Head of Upper School for AEC, and drew a very enthusiastic crowd.

Aviva Kempner with Joshua Abbey, director of the Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival

Upon her return to Washington DC, Aviva attended a screening held by George Washington University’s Department of Religion. Aviva was joined by Stephanie Deutsch, who was interviewed in the film.

Stephanie Deutsch (left) and Aviva Kempner (right)

Also attending the screening was Lawrence Perry, who had attended a Rosenwald School. He was greatly appreciative of the films creation and loved seeing it.

Lawrence Perry and Aviva Kempner

Rosenwald to be screened as part of Montclair Civil Rights film series

Posted February 3rd, 2016 by

We’re proud to announce that Rosenwald will be screened March 23rd at the Montclair Public Library as part of the Montclair Historical Society’s film series focusing on Civil Rights and the African American experience with a historical perspective. For more information on the film series, read the Montclair Patch article by Eric Kiefer, here.

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