Millionaire builds schools for African Americans BY CHRISTINA HALE, Staff Writer Julius Rosenwald, CEO of Sears, Roebuck Company, built himself a fortune of over $200 million during his lifetime and gave over $60 million of it away. Some of the funds went to build schools for African Americans in the South. North Carolina had 800 Rosenwald schools, more than any other state. Six were built in Beaufort County: Bayside School (Bath), Leechville School, Pantego One, Pantego Two, River Road School (Washington) and Ware Creek School (Blounts Creek). The Ware Creek School in Blounts Creek is still standing and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1919 and was the oldest among the Beaufort County projects, according to historians. Alethea Williams-King, of Blounts Creek, is the president of the Ware Creek Community Development Program, a non-profit organization that helps to maintain the building. She said that the Ware Creek School taught two generations of African Americans in the Blounts Creek area. “For a long time, southern states didn’t put much money into education for African Americans,” she said. The vision and the conception of these schools came from Booker T. Washington. He was a product of the poor conditioned African American schools in the rural south and approached Rosenwald to donate the funds. “We had come through a period of time where education for African Americans was a criminal act or just not funded to the extent that it should have been and that was the reason for the Rosenwald school. Funding for African Americans was not something the public school board made an priority,” said Williams-King. Rosenwald’s money was only seed money, she said. “The local funds had to be raised to supplement the money and the African American community contributed more than Rosenwald with 4.7 million” in cash and in donations of building materials and land. “That shows how badly African Americans wanted their children to have an opportunity to have an education...they built in an era where African American education had chronically and purposely gone underfunded, ” she said. By far the largest source of funding was tax funds. The county school board had to provide public support, take ownership of the new school property, and commit to maintaining it as part of the public school system. Williams-King said that the Ware Creek building was a school for 30 years and closed in the early 1950’s. Even after the schools closed, the south was slow to integrate. “There was token integration, one or two black children, but it wasn’t totally integrated until 1969 or 1970 in the South.” Get the rest here Excellent read. A LARGE EDUCATIONAL GAP TODAY MAY BE ATTRIBUTED BY THIS AMOUNGST OTHER CAUSES. I wish to thank BOOKER T. WASHINGTON and Julius Rosenwald and all those set to PROVIDE the NEED for the EFFORT to address this UNIQUE PROBLEMATIC ISSUE which STILL REMAINS but REQUIRES a DIFFERENT APPROACH TODAY.