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The Voice of the Black Community


Historic ties to Newell school
Banquet fundraiser for renovations
Published Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:15 am
by Herbert L. White

The great-granddaughter of educator Booker T. Washington will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser to preserve the Rosenwald School in the Newell neighborhood.

Robin Washington Banks, an educator and author, will keynote the Silver Star community’s second annual Newell Rosenwald School Day on March 23 at Varick Renaissance Center, 3165 Zion’s Renaissance Lane.  A meet and greet will start at 6:30 p.m. with the banquet starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $60 per person and signed copies of Banks’ book “Booker T. Washington: A Lesson in Character Building,” will be available for $15. To buy tickets, go to silverstartickets@yahoo.com or Silver Star’s Facebook page. Proceeds will go to restoration and preservation of the Newell Rosenwald School.

Rosenwald Schools were built in the early 20th century as private academies for black students in the South. The collaboration between businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald and Washington, founder of what is now Tuskegee University, resulted in the Rosenwald Fund, which provided millions in grants to education of African Americans. The Newell School was built around 1928 with three classrooms and an industrial room. Silver Star organizers are looking to raise $44,000 to finish building renovations that include roof and floor improvements. The building is also eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Once southern states began to fund public education for blacks, Rosenwald Schools became obsolete. In 1948, Silver Set Lodge 327 bought the Newell School and its adjoining 1.8 acres to convert it into a community center.

For information on the banquet or restoration of the Rosenwald School, call Charles Grier at (704) 449-0981 or Tiffany Walker at (704) 258-0498.


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