Elsewhere online
August 20, 2015

New Documentary Celebrates Storied Education Philanthropist

NPR talks to filmmaker Aviva Kempner about her new documentary Rosenwald, which tells the story of an early 20th-century businessman who built thousands of of schools for African Americans across the South in the first half of the 20th century.

Julius Rosenwald amassed a $400 million fortune as the head of pioneering catalog retailer Sears, Roebuck. An adherent of what Ms. Kempner calls the "give while you live" philosophy, he took up the cause of black education after reading Booker T. Washington's book Up From Slavery and meeting the pioneering educator. Mr. Rosenwald's wealth built more than 5,000 schools from the 1910s to the 1940s, alumni of which include Maya Angelou and congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis.