A Better Life for Their Children: Photography by Andrew Feiler

Temporary Exhibition: A Better Life for Their Children: Photography by Andrew Feiler
Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington forged one of the earliest collaborations between Jews and African Americans to create schools throughout the nation for black children who had no access to publicly funded education. From 1912 to 1937, the Rosenwald schools program built 4,978 schools for African American children across fifteen southern and border states. Hundreds of thousands of students walked through these doorways. For the first comprehensive photographic account of the Rosenwald Schools program, Andrew Feiler drove more than 25,000 miles and photographed 105 schools in all fifteen of the program states. The work includes interiors and exteriors, schools restored and yet-to-be restored, and portraits of people with compelling connections to these schools. The traveling exhibition of this work will originate at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The Center hosted a virtual program of the same name, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Restored Classroom, Pine Grove School--Richland County, South Carolina, 1923-1950

Of the original 4,978 Rosenwald schools, about 500 survive. While some have been repurposed and a handful remain active schools, many remain unrestored and at risk of collapse. To tell this story visually, Andrew Feiler drove more than twenty-five thousand miles, photographed 105 schools, and interviewed dozens of former students, teachers, preservationists, and community leaders in all fifteen of the program states.

 

Author Talks with Andrew Feiler, A Better Life for Their Children

This exhibition is a physical expression of Feiler’s book of the same name, which launched April 1. The Center is partnering with the Atlanta History Center to share Andrew Feiler’s Author Talk that launched his book A Better Life for their Children, in conversation with the Honorable Shirley C. Franklin, Chair of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Board of Directors.