A showing of the critically acclaimed film “Rosenwald” will be presented at the Buchanan Theater on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. The concession stand will be open.
The showing of the full length movie is being sponsored by The Botetourt County Historical Society Inc., thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors, Austin Electrical, Bank of Botetourt and Standing Room Only (operators of The Buchanan Theater).
The film documents the story of the creation of Rosenwald Schools for African American students in the South. Julius Rosenwald, the chief executive of Sears Roebuck and Company, was approached by the famous African American educator, Booker T. Washington, in 1912. He requested Rosenwald to assist in funding a program to help educate poor rural African American children in the post reconstruction South. The result was a program to assist in funding the creation of more than 5,500 new schools in the southern United States. From 1915 to 1932, 660,000 students benefitted from the program across the south, including hundreds of children in the four Rosenwald Schools built in Botetourt County. The Botetourt schools, built with funding from the Rosenwald grants, the local community and the Botetourt County school board, were located in the communities of Buchanan, Eagle Rock, Indian Rock, and Carvins Cove.
Currently Preservation Virginia, a nonprofit organization, is leading an effort to document the location of the Rosenwald Schools that were built in Virginia. Over100 of these schools are still standing across the state. Unfortunately the four Botetourt County Rosewald Schools are no longer standing but their locations have been documented by Preservation Virginia and information regarding them and all the other Virginia Rosenwald schools can be found at the Preservation Virginia website.
The Aviva Kempner film, produced by The Ciesla Foundation and distributed by The National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University, has received national attention and critical acclaim. The public is invited to attend the local showing of the film and learn more about this important project that benefitted the education of the children of Botetourt County. Admission is free.
Questions can be directed to The Botetourt County Historical Museum at 473-8394 or email@example.com.