Director Aviva Kempner and poet Ethelbert Miller had a wonderful screening of Rosenwald at Tuskegee University on February 23 and 24, where Julius Rosenwald served on the board and was inspired by Booker T. Washington to build the schools. Tuskegee President Brian L. Johnson introduced Kempner and the screening was preceded by a Meet and Greet with the President’s staff. Speaking after the screening with Miller and Kempner were Dana Chandler, the archivist at Tuskegee University and Rosenwald’s great grandson Phil Rome.
At the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, Dr. Carla Jackson Bell, dean of the school, hosted an event for Kempner to present the Rosenwald DVD bonus feature “The Legacy of Black Architects at Tuskegee.” Kempner spoke with architecture students about the unique history of building Tuskegee.
In addition, Miller spoke to two English classes, Shakespeare and World Literature, referencing poet Langston Hughes whose own 1931 tour of colleges in the South inspired this current one. One Tuskegee graduate, Guy Trammell, wrote an enthusiastic response to the showing of the film:
“Again, thanks so much for doing this project, and for bringing the film to Tuskegee. I will be ordering a copy for the youth in our program to see this year and will be spreading the word of the DVD package you mentioned. There are many in and from Tuskegee that would be interested.
By the way, the students sitting behind me, during the film showing, were so excited to see their Tuskegee campus in the film! Those early shots had them whispering to each other, “Look that’s the band! . . . . . Look! There’s _______ Hall!” You really made their day! And mine!”
Tuskegee University is the third stop on the Rosenwald Tour, which was generously funded by the Reva and David Logan Foundation. With more support in the future from funders like the Logan Foundation, the tour can continue to more HBCU’s.