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Hopewell Rosenwald School
100-Year Anniversary Celebration

Andrew Feiler, Photographer and Author, Speaking about his photodocumentary of the Rosenwald schools program, A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington,
and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America

Date : Friday, November 4, 2022
Time : 7:00 p.m.
Place : Bastrop Opera House
711 Spring St. Bastrop, Texas

Panel with community members,
including former students, to follow.

Andrew Feiler
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The Hopewell Rosenwald School Story
Live Production with Music, Dance, Comedy and Drama
Written by Marci Williams and Shawanda Stewart

They were enslaved and traveling from different states when they came to Bastrop County, but they met and fell in love. With friends and neighbors helping to lead the way, Sophia and Martin McDonald made educating African American children a priority.

Directed by Peter Anthony Andrew

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Time: 7pm
Place: Bastrop Opera House, 711 Spring Street,
Bastrop, Texas

Story developed for production by:
Elroy Williams, CL Jones, Brandon Lenzy, Ruth Jones, Doris Sampson
Executive Produced by David M. Porter, III
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In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
-Booker T. Washington

The Hopewell Rosenwald School Project is under the fiscal umbrella of American YouthWorks. All contributions to the project are tax deductible to extent allowable by law.

The Rosenwald School Story - Overview

Below is the trailer for Aviva Kempner’s Rosenwald, a documentary on the incredible story of how businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald joined with African-American communities in the South to build schools for them during the early part of the 20th century. 

Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century.

Hopewell Rosenwald School-Cedar Creek

When a 1954 Supreme Court ruling declared segregation in education unconstitutional, Rosenwald Schools became obsolete. Once the pride of their communities, many were abandoned or demolished. In 2002, the National Trust joined forces with grassroots activists, local officials, and preservationists to help raise awareness of this important but little-known segment of our nation’s history, placing Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Of the 5,357 schools, shops, and teacher homes constructed between 1917 and 1932, only 10–12 percent are estimated to survive today.

The National Trust is providing technical assistance, grants, workshops, and conferences to help save these icons of progressive architecture for community use.

Major Sponsors of the Project

Martin and Sophia McDonald

(Property Owners and Former Slaves)

Texas Rosenwald Schools

Courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission