Category Archives: Rosenwald Schools

Kinlaw Rosenwald School, Camden County

In celebration of its 100th year, descendants of students who attended Kinlaw Rosenwald School are restoring this 3-teacher type school. Once the restoration is complete, this school will serve the Kinlaw community for years to come.

When I visited with my friend, Brian, we were lucky enough to meet one of the men helping go restore the building, Marshall Glover. You can read more about the school and donate money by visiting the school’s site.

Poplar Spring School, Fulton County

The Poplar Spring School sits on the grounds of the Poplar Spring United Methodist Church. Built when the church was a part of Campbell County, this is a beautiful example of a one-teacher type school.

The church began in 1867 in a brush arbor. This is at least the third physical structure the church has had in it’s history. You can read more of their history on the chirch’s website. Outside of the church and school, there is a small cemetery and picnic area on the church grounds.

Tallahassee School, Jeff Davis County

Built in 1925 for $3600, the Tallahassee School in Hazlehurst, Georgia is a two-teacher school in desperate need of attention. While there has been a renewed interest in these schools, this is one where it seems to have been in a similar state for years now. I hope there will be a community effort to save this historical school.

Marian Anderson Library, Pierce County

Originally the Blackshear School

Built in 1925 with Rosenwald funds, the Blackshear School served the Black community of Blackshear, Georgia. After it closed, it became the Marian Anderson Library. At one point, it held a special collection of books and paintings on the African American experience that was eventually moved to the Lee Street Resource Center. I am uncertain when it no longer stopped serving as a library, but it now being used as a storage facility.

Oak Grove School and Church, Hale County

The Oak Grove Church and School sit at the end of a dirt road in Prairieville, Alabama. The school was built in 1925 for the local Black community. Built as a two-teacher school at the cost of $3000, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Randolph School, Harrison County

Built in 1927 for $24,000, this six-teacher type Rosenwald School is in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina badly damaged the school, and it was scheduled for demolition which community organizers rallied to get the building saved and restored. It now serves as a senior center. The day I took this photo the parking lot was full, so I was pleased that it’s a building being used.

It is listed as a Mississippi Landmark.

Barney Colored Elementary School, Brooks County

Built in 1933 in Brooks County, Georgia, this school was built with Rosenwald funds to serve Black school children of the county. The Morven Alumni Association, another Rosenwald School in the county, fund raised and helped get the building restored. This school building operated from 1933 to 1959. It now serves as a community building for Barney, Georgia and the surrounding towns. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Unity Grove School, Henry County

The Unity Grove School began in approximately 1891 to serve the Black students of Henry County, Georgia. In 1931, the school received Rosenwald funds to rebuild the school after it had fell into disrepair. It was rebuilt for $2527. It is a two-teacher type school. It was in use until 1954.

Catawba School, York County

Built in 1924, the Catawba School is a Rosenwald School in York County, South Carolina. This two-teacher type school was built for $3200. It was one of at least 22 schools built in the county to educate the Black children of the county. It stayed open until 1956. This is one of two documented schools still standing and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Carroll School, York County

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, the Carroll School sits in York County, South Carolina. The three-teacher type Rosenwald school stayed open until 1954. Restored within the last few years, the Rock Hill school district uses it as a place to educate fifth-grade students about segregation and education in South Carolina.

Judia Jackson Harris School, Clarke County

Some of you may know this building in Athens as the Hawaiian Ha-le Club. It’s one of the places the B-52s identified as an inspiration for their song, ”Love Shack.” They mention it in several interviews over the years. More importantly, this is the only remaining Rosenwald School in Clarke County, Georgia. My research had led me to believe they had all been demolished. That’s the case with many Rosenwald Schools, the history gets lost until someone shares the connection. Originally called County Training School (a common name for Rosenwald Schools), the school’s name changed to the Judia Jackson Harris School. Judia Jackson Harris was an early Black educator who worked to raise money to build this school after the original school burned. Historic Athens recently named this as a Place in Peril. This school needs to be saved.

Hannah Rosenwald School, Newberry County

The Hannah Rosenwald School is affiliated with the Hannah AME Church in Newberry, South Carolina. It is a three-teacher school that was built in 1924. It was originally known as the Utopia School, named for the local community where it was built. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.