African American Experience
“Explore the African American Experience” by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
This web page, a part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources website, is for travellers wishing to learn more about the state’s African American history. The site contains information on upcoming events, state parks, and historic and cultural sites across the state.
Gates, Henry Louis. Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
This general history from Peabody Award-winning historian and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University Henry Louis Gates covers the history of African Americans from the first time an African set foot on American soil to the near present. As Gates covers the African American story from the time of the first African Americans in 1513 to the election of the African American President in 2008, he provides an excellent overview of the African American story. Gates’ book is arranged chronologically. It is further subdivided into topics that span one to five pages in length. Additionally, with over 700 images, this book will not fail to bring the African American story to life for the reader as people, movements, controversies, events, music, art, religion, and more are explored.
This page from the NC State Historic Preservation Office provide a short history of Rosenwald Schools and the efforts to preserve them. The site contains a number of excellent links, including a listing of all extant and known sites of Rosenwald Schools in North Carolina.
This is the promotional website for the 2015 documentary “Rosenwald.” This film explores the history of Julius Rosenwald and his Rosenwald Fund. In addition to the film’s companion resources, this website also includes memories, stories, and fields of study of Rosenwald School graduates fields as well as information on preservation, restoration, and specific Rosenwald Schools.
Ascoli, Peter Max. Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.
This biography of Julius Rosenwald was written by academic Peter Ascoli, grandson of Rosenwald. Ascoli’s work is unique because it uses a number of Rosenwald’s previously unpublished personal writings as well as corporate documents to provide a portrait of the philanthropist, including his work with African American education.
Deutsch, Stephanie. You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 2011.
Beginning with their respective childhoods and ending with Rosenwald’s death, Stephanie Deutsch's book details the partnership between Sears, Roebuck and Company president Julius Rosenwald and African American education activist Booker T. Washington. You Need A Schoolhouse paints a vivid portrait of the personalities of these two men as it illustrates how their collaboration brought about the Rosenwald Fund.
Hoffschwelle, Mary S. The Rosenwald Schools of the American South. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2006.
This book provides a detailed history of the Rosenwald Fund. This includes its development and promotion. The book begins with the initial Rosenwald-Washington partnership as it traces the rise and decline of the building program as well as the relationship of the fun to the communities it touched. The actual building of the schools as well as education in the south is explored. The book concludes with some statistical information as well as the fate of Rosenwald Schools after the end of the Rosenwald Fund and the death of Julius Rosenwald.
This booklet, available as a PDF file, was written by Mary S. Hoffschwelle for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Hoffschwelle writes in this brochure about the identification of Rosenwald schools and their role in their communities as well as the beginning steps in the process for preserving these historic buildings.
Western North Carolina and Lincoln Heights Rosenwald School
Lest We Forget: Education in Wilkes, 1778-1978. n.p.: Wilkes County Retired School Personnel, 1979.
Written by former Wilkes county, North Carolina teachers and school administrators, this book gives a detailed history of education in the county. Included in this history is a brief history of Lincoln Heights Rosenwald School. Although it may be difficult to find a copy to purchase, there are copies available to borrow at the Ashe County and Wilkes County Public Libraries, as well as Appalachian State University's Special Collections in Belk Library.
This site, a part of the larger NCGenWeb genealogical group of pages, is a community run genealogical website that offers information on Wilkes county’s past. A variety of resources are available on the site, from census and military records to family bibles and wills. However, the most significant resource on this website is the section for links to other websites with resources for African American history.
Byrd, Fay. Wilkes County: Bits and Pieces. Wilkesboro, N.C.: Wilkes Community College, 2010.
Wilkes County Bits and Pieces provides a history of the county. The book, written by a Wilkes Community College instructor, utilizes oral histories, newspaper accounts, and the written record to paint a vivid portrait of the community.
Inscoe, John C. Appalachians and Race The Mountain South from Slavery to Segregation. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005.
This work collects essays from historians covering the history of African Americans in the Appalachian Mountain region. While a variety of themes are explored, one notable essay highlights African American education in North Carolina as it details the Salem School and Orphanage in Elk Park, North Carolina.
Reed, Betty Jamerson. School Segregation in Western North Carolina: A History, 1860s-1970s. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2011.
Betty Reed’s work is an exhaustive history of race and schooling in western North Carolina. Among other educational themes, the Rosenwald Fund is discussed in detail, and the Lincoln Heights Rosenwald School appears in this conversation.
Finkelstein, Norman H. Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Change African American Education. Honesdale, PA.: Calkins Creek. 2014.
Schools of Hope, by renowned historian Norman H. Finkelstein, offers a history of the Rosenwald Fund for readers ages 10 and up. Finkelstein focuses on the life and mindset of Julius Rosenwald, as well as the positive response of the African American communities to the program. Filled with quotes, images, maps, and floor plans, this book is sure to capture the attention of any child interested in turn of the century philanthropy and the story of African American education.
Weatherford, Carole Boston, and R. Gregory Christie. Dear Mr. Rosenwald. New York: Scholastic Press, 2006.
This picture book tells a fictionalized story about Rosenwald School building from the perspective of a young Rosenwald School student and her experiences. The book features colorful illustrations by R. Gregory Christie throughout.