ABOUT THIS PROGRAM
Documentary screening, plus Q&A with filmmaker Aviva Kempner
Join the Harvey B. Gantt Center and New Generation of African American Philanthropists for a special film screening in observance of Black History Month.
Julius Rosenwald never finished high school yet rose to become President of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and one of the wealthiest men in the United States in the early 20th century. His greatest legacy, however, was philanthropic. Rosenwald gave away what today would be nearly one billion dollars, making him one of the greatest philanthropists of all time. Joining forces with African American communities, together, they built 5,300 schools whose alumni are legion. Featured in the film are such luminary alumni as writer Maya Angelou, Tony Award-winner George Wolfe and Congressman John Lewis.
In addition to funding schools, Rosenwald also awarded fellowships to a who’s who of Black scholars and artists including Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Bunche, Gordon Parks, Romare Bearden and others whose contributions ultimately transformed American life for generations and now benefit and inspire us all. Unfolding over a century ago, the Rosenwald story illuminates abiding truths about opportunity, visionary leadership, cross-cultural collaboration and community transformation, providing a blueprint for 21st-century philanthropy.
Charlotte Jewish Film Festival and Levine Museum of the New South
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Image credits: Courtesy Fisk University, John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, Special Collections