2013 Grants for Rosenwald Schools

The National Trust has announced a new round of grants up to $20,000 for Rosenwald Schools. Applications are due April 15, 2013.


If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you know that Rosenwald schools, most dating to the 1920s, were public schools for African Americans whose buildings were partially funded by the Julius Rosenwald Fund. You can read more about the schools at the National Trust’s Rosenwald Initiative website and about earlier grants to Mississippi Rosenwalds at our 2010 post about a previous grant round.

Mississippi once had the second highest number of such schools, but today, our official list is down to this:

  • Bynum School, Panola County (1926)
  • Drew School, Sunflower County (1929)
  • Pass Christian (Randolph) School, Pass Christian, Harrison County (1928)
  • Brushy Creek School, Copiah County (c.1930)
  • Prentiss Institute, Prentiss, Jefferson Davis County (1926)
  • Sherman Line School, Amite County (1928)
  • Hollandale School, Washington County (1924)
  • Nichols Elementary School, Canton, Madison County (1927)
  • Bay Springs School, Forrest County (1925)
  • Rose Hill School, Sharkey County (1922)
  • Pantherburn School, Sharkey County (1927)
  • Walthall County Training (Ginntown) School, Walthall County (1920)
  • Marks School, Quitman County (1922)
  • Swiftown School, Leflore County (1921)
  • Oak Park Principal’s Home and Girls Dormitory, Laurel, Jones County (1928)
  • John White School Teacher’s House, Forrest County (1925)
  • Coahoma Agricultural High School (now Community College) (c.1930)
  • Moorhead School Teacher’s House, Sunflower County (1932)

Do you see a building you recognize? If so, pass along this information to the owners and maybe you can help save an important piece of Mississippi history.

Categories: African American History, Grants, Historic Preservation, Schools

6 replies

  1. My Mother and I graduated from Drew High School. My class has had several reunions over the last few years. At one of the reunions, we toured the school and found that most of the “white” student class pictures had been removed. When asked about this, we were told it was done to paint the walls! That wasn’t true, as the pictures had collected much dirt!!!


    • I have seen this in more than one school, including family members here in Jackson. I don’t know what to say about it, except that in the cases I’m familiar with, removing the pictures has diminished the sense of the alumni of wanting to contribute to the school’s future. On the other hand, I have seen many schools that still proudly display all their class pictures going way back, even though most of the student body is now black. Different leadership, I suppose.

      By the way, the Drew school mentioned in the list above is the old black school, not the old white school that is still operating.


  2. I grew up in Laurel, so I’m partial to Oak Park High School. I’m not sure if any of these other schools include a dormitory and principal’s residence, but that alone might set it apart. The school was for decades the anchor of the traditional African-American community in Laurel, and was (relatively) well-funded by the city It was -is- truly a campus. There is a still a very active national alumni association. http://www.nophsaa.org/ Finally, Leontyne Price is a graduate of Oak Park and thus (presumably) the beneficiary of a Rosenwald School. Quite an honor!


  3. There were three other Rosenwald buildings at the Oak Park complex, including the classroom building that Leontyne Price attended. The building that remains is the only dormitory that I know of built by Rosenwald funds in the state. There were a couple of other teacher’s houses (Coahoma Community College still has one, and the Moorhead teacher’s house is still standing but in bad shape), but none that also had student dormitory space. This was a very special building, and I’m happy it’s still there to help remember the Rosenwald contribution in Laurel.


  4. My great-grandfather was John White (John White Teacher’s Home). My father and his siblings attended the school “John White Consolidated School”, in Maxie, Mississippi. I have a photo of John White, born in 1850. My father told me that John White worked with Mr. Rosenwald to open the school. Have been in touch with Mr. Rosenwald’s grandson and so proud of this part of our family history.


  5. Julius’ granddaughters Nina and Elizabeth, are funneling monies into The Gatestone Institute, The Hudson Institute, David Horowitz and NeoCon think tanks which cannot in any way be considered involved in humanitarian pursuits.
    Julius was also involved in sending monies to terrorist groups in Palestine in the 1930s. Check out Meron Benvensti’s, Sacred Landscaape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948. Benvenisti was a former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem.


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