Alabama Dept of Archives & History Opens "History Lives On: Preserving Alabama's Rosenwald Schools

A. Nicole
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Rosenwald SchoolPhoto bySouth Carolina Department of Archives and History

The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) is pleased to announce the launch of a captivating new temporary exhibit, "History Lives On: Preserving Alabama's Rosenwald Schools," at the Museum of Alabama. This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the ADAH and Auburn University's College of Architecture, Design, and Construction. It is open to the public until May 2024.

Alabama's Educational Legacy

The "History Lives On" exhibit goes into the profound history of Alabama's Rosenwald Schools. These schools, established in the early 20th century, played a pivotal role in providing education to African-American students in the South during the era of segregation. This project not only brings to light the educational significance of these schools but also highlights ongoing efforts to preserve their legacy.

Grand Opening Event

To celebrate this significant exhibition, the ADAH will be hosting an opening event on Tuesday, October 17. The event commences with a reception at 5:00 p.m., providing an opportunity for attendees to explore the exhibit at their leisure. Following the reception, a panel discussion on Rosenwald Schools and the Realizing Rosenwald research project will begin at 6:00 p.m.

A Learning Experience for All

The panel discussion is a part of the ADAH's "History/Now: Conversations on the Past + Present" series, aimed at fostering meaningful dialogues on historical and contemporary issues. The panelists for this event are experts in the field, bringing diverse perspectives on the significance of Rosenwald Schools:

  • Thomas Boyd is the president of the Montgomery County Farmers Service and Welfare Association, which owns the Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull. Boyd has been actively involved in the rehabilitation of the school, receiving the 2021 African American Civil Rights Preservation Grant from the National Park Service.
  • Gorham Bird is an assistant professor of Architecture at Auburn University and a registered architect. Bird's research and outreach efforts include partnering with local communities to document and preserve the remaining Rosenwald Schools in Alabama.
  • Dorothy Walker serves as the site director of the Freedom Rides Museum, a historic site of the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC). Walker brings twenty-five years of experience in historic preservation and cultural resource advocacy, planning, and project management. Her interest and advocacy extend to the preservation of Alabama's Rosenwald Schools.

Supporting Partners

The opening event is generously sponsored by Seay, Seay & Litchfield Architects and the Alabama Humanities Alliance, reflecting the community's commitment to preserving this vital part of Alabama's history.

Learn More and Attend

For those interested in exploring the exhibit and attending the opening event, additional information is available on the ADAH's website, www.archives.alabama.gov, or you can contact them directly by phone at (334) 353-4689 or email at alex.colvin@archives.alabama.gov.

Discover Alabama's Rich History

The Alabama Department of Archives and History serves as the state's repository for government records, a special collections library, a research facility, and the home of the Museum of Alabama, the state history museum. Located in downtown Montgomery, just across from the State Capitol, the Museum of Alabama welcomes visitors from Monday to Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 pm. Additionally, the EBSCO Research Room is open from Tuesday to Saturday during the same hours. To learn more about the ADAH's mission and resources, please visit www.archives.alabama.gov or call (334) 242-4364.

Join the ADAH in commemorating the Rosenwald Schools and the enduring legacy they have left on the great state of Alabama.

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