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A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, & the 4,978 Schools That Changed America

Join us for a special presentation by photographer Andrew Feiler, who will discuss his new book, A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America. This presentation will be in conjunction with a photo exhibit along the fence in downtown Cartersville.
In 1912 Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald launched an ambitious program to partner with Black communities to build public schools for African American children. From 1912 to 1937, when few such schools existed, the program built 4,978 schools across fifteen southern and border states. Rosenwald schools – one of the earliest collaborations between Jews and African Americans – drove dramatic improvement in Black educational attainment and educated the generation who became leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.Of the original 4,978 schools, only about 500 survive. To tell this story visually, Feiler drove more than twenty-five thousand miles, photographed 105 schools, and interviewed dozens offormer students, teachers, preservationists, and community leaders.
Feiler will discuss how this project came to be and how the Rosenwald schools represent a watershed moment in the history of philanthropy.
To learn more about the photo exhibit and Andrew Feiler’s book,  please visit the Exhibitions Tab on the Bartow History Museum website.
This program is co-sponsored by the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center,  the Cartersville-Bartow Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Mack Eppinger & Sons Funeral Services.

Get Tickets Here

Get to Know the Speaker

Andrew Feiler is a photographer and author and fifth generation Georgian. Having grown up Jewish in Savannah, he has been shaped by the rich complexities of the American South. Feiler has long beenactive in civic life. He has helped create over a dozen community initiatives, serves on multiple not-forprofit boards, and is an active advisor to numerous elected officials and political candidates. His art is an extension of his civic values.

Feiler’s newest book of photography, A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America, was recently published by the University of  Georgia Press. This work is the first comprehensive photodocumentary of the program created by Tuskegee Institute principal Booker T. Washington and Sears, Roebuck & Company president Julius Rosenwald. From 1912 to 1937, this collaboration built 4,978 schools for African American children across 15 southern and border states and transformed America.

Feiler’s photographs have been instrumental in the campaign to create a new US national historical park and inspired the composition of a symphony. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, Architect, Preservation, Eye on Photography, The Forward as well as on CBS This Morningand NPR. His prints have been displayed in galleries and museums including solo exhibitions at such venues as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, and International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC. His photographs are in public and private collections including that of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Feiler earned his bachelor’s in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s in modern history from Oxford University and a master’s in business administration from Stanford University.

To view more of Feilers work, visit his website

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