Malvern Rosenwald Tuggle School Named on 2019 List of Arkansas’s Most Endangered Places

On May 1st, the Malvern Rosenwald Tuggle School was named on the 2019 List of Arkansas’s Most Endangered Places. As a result, “astonishing individuals of Malvern have embraced the opportunity to restore the school. It’s a long-term goal and effort to achieve, but the MTRO has made it their mission and purpose to restore, reconstruct and repair the landmark Tuggle School in Malvern.” You can read more about the school and the restoration initiative here:

If you are interested in helping with the restoration process, reach out to Gretchen Ritchey, the editor of the Malvern Daily Record here:

Rosenwald HS Alum and Philadelphia Vegan Cuisine Pioneer Passes Away

We want to send our condolences to the friends and family of Alfoncie B. Austin, an alum of Rosenwald High School and a pioneer in the world of vegan cuisine. In addition, Austin was generous leader within the community, often participating in various philanthropy events, including taking at risk youth out of the city and into the mountains for a two week camp each summer. It is truly sad to lose such a great human from our world and her impact will not be forgotten.

Read more about Alfoncie Austin here:

Union Academy High School Dedicate Historical Marker

“The legacy of Union Academy is defined by the proud record of accomplishments, in all fields of endeavor, touching individual, family, community, vocational and spiritual accord, making its contributions an enduring monument, not only to the African American experience of former days, but to the new generations achieving success, recipients of the heritage, and spirit of this very unique and historic place,

-Lloyd Harris, Historian

Read more:

Historical marker will be dedicated to Fauquier County’s Rosenwald Schools

On August third, a ceremony will be held at Eva Walker Park in Warrenton, Virginia to unveil a historical marker, commemorating the eight Rosenwald schools. The eight schools are Blackwelltown, Cresthill, Greensville, Orleans, Rectortown No. 12, Remington No. 15, Rosenwald High School and Routts Hill.

The process of creating the historical marker began in April of 2018, when Karen Hughes White, executive director of the AAHA was contacted by Jerry Klinger, president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. Klinger was moved to fund the marker because he felt it important to tell a part of the Rosenwald school story in Virginia.

There will be a presentation of the marker, singing and speeches by Michael L. Blakey, Ph.D at the event. Following the ceremony will be refreshments.

For more information:

Rosenwald Event at Politics and Prose

Aviva speaks at Politics and Prose Rosenwald event

On Sunday afternoon, July 14, producer and director Aviva Kempner joined art historian and curator Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes at Politics and Prose to discuss talented Harlem Renaissance artist Augusta Savage on the occasion of the publication of Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman by Dr. Hayes.

Kempner started the program by showing the bonus feature on Augusta Savage that is among the four of half hours of new material on the Rosenwald DVD.
Dr. Hayes mentioned Augusta Savage had not received the recognition she deserved both as an artist and a teacher. Dr. Hayes had curated a traveling exhibit on Savage that is now exhibited in New York at the New-York Historical Society. Hayes talked about the importance of putting together the book with archival material from Savage’s life.




Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes autographs copies of her book, Augusta Savage:Renaissance Woman for fans after the event

Dr. Hayes noted that Americans are finally learning about Savage–a sculptor, activist, and leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance–who co-founded the Harlem Artists’ Guild and became the first director of the federally-supported Harlem Community Art Center. With funds from the Rosenwald Foundation and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, Augusta Savage was able to study at leading Paris art school Académie de la Grande Chaumière for a year, aiding her success. In front of a full audience, Kempner and Dr. Hayes discussed Augusta Savage’s success and impact.
In the audience was NPR commentator Susan Stamberg who alerted the audience on her upcoming show highlighting Savage’s work in a commentary the next morning. Check it out here


Aviva Kempner wrote about Savage in The New York Times:

“As Confederate Statues Fall, What Should Replace Them?”

Check it out here!

LeBron Scores Like Rosenwald

In November 2017, a century after Julius Rosenwald and his family established the Rosenwald Fund in 1917, LeBron James and his family’s fund—The LeBron James Family Foundation—expressed their desire to the Akron school board to build a school specifically aimed at underserved, at-risk children in his beloved childhood neighborhood. Within a year, plans for the new school had been approved and that following school year, the I Promise School opened its doors.

Last week, early results of the I Promise School arrived, and it scored big.

In an article by Erica L. Green on Friday, The New York Times’ reported that 90 percent of the students at LeBron James’ I Promise School met or exceeded individual growth goals in recent district assessments, outpacing students across their Akron, Ohio, district and marking “extraordinary” test-score improvement in less than a year.

According to Green, the third- and fourth-graders at I Promise School “were, by many accounts, considered unredeemable” upon their arrival — “identified as the worst performers in the Akron public schools and branded with behavioral problems.” Now, with the inaugural 240 students finished with Measures of Academic Progress testing, the school is “helping close the achievement gap in Akron.”

The first results are in and living up to the school’s rather fitting name, showing greater promise than most could have conceived at the time of its opening.

“When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school. People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors,” said James.

Much like Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Fund, LeBron James and his family’s foundation provides an excellent template in an education system all too eager to throw money and legislation at private charter schools. Like Rosenwald, James also understands the value of public education and the need for schools to be operated by the district where students actually live and learn.

Rosenwald Court Apartments Restored

Rosenwald Court Apartments Restored

In 1919, Julius Rosenwald “devote[d] funding to offset the Black belt housing crisis,” resulting in the building of the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments (nicknamed “the Rosenwald”). Over its history, the apartment buildings were home to Nat “King” Cole, Gwendolyn Brooks, and other African-American legends. The building was closed in 2000 due to a leaky gas pipe, and many believed the apartments would close forever due to its deteriorating physical condition.

Nineteen years later, the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments have a new name, the Rosenwald Court Apartments, and are once again a lively part of the community.

The complex has undergone a $132 million restoration and is allowing new businesses to enter the community, such as Sip and Savor Coffee House. To read more, click here.

From the Washington Post: The overlooked hero behind Sears’s success

From the Washington Post: The overlooked hero behind Sears’s success

January 21 at 1:07 PM

Stephanie Deutsch is the author of “You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.”

“Sears chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL hedge fund staved off, at least temporarily, the company’s liquidation with a $5.2 billion bid at a bankruptcy auction last week in New York. Creditors of the former department store colossus are challenging the sale in court. The fate of the company’s 425 stores, and with it the jobs of 45,000 employees, is likely to be determined in early February.

Sears’s bankruptcy declaration in October prompted a wave of media coverage focusing on Sears’s mid-20th-century glory days and its roots in a mail-order watch business operated by Richard W. Sears with the help of watch repairer Alvah C. Roebuck. Often overlooked in those nostalgic chronicles was the man who bore much of the responsibility for building the company into a paragon of U.S. retailing. With Sears’s future hanging in the balance, this seems like a good moment to give Julius Rosenwald his due, not least because of how he put his Sears fortune to philanthropic use: partnering with African American communities across the segregated South to build schools.”

To read the full article, visit:

Rosenwald to be Screened at Morehouse’s 2019 College Commemoration

Rosenwald will be screened at Morehouse’s 2019 College Commemoration on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 5:30pm at Morehouse’s Bank of American Auditorium. The Commemoration will honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King.

The late Julian Bond, the inspiration for Rosenwald, was a Morehouse English Department graduate. The department is sponsoring the screening and his son, Atlanta Councilmember at Large Michael Julian Bond, will be in attendance.

We hope many will be able to join Councilmember Bond, Aviva Kempner, and Ethelbert Miller for a discussion after the film. For additional details, please email Lianna Bright at

Charles White Was a Giant, Even Among the Heroes He Painted

Charles White Was a Giant, Even Among the Heroes He Painted

“What a beautiful artist Charles White was. Hand of an angel, eye of a sage. Although White, who died in 1979, is often mentioned today as a teacher and mentor of luminaries like David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, his is no case of reflected glory. In “Charles White: A Retrospective” at the Museum of Modern Art, from beginning to end, he shines.”

White was a recipient of a Rosenwald Grant. Read more here: