Director Aviva Kempner’s documentary Rosenwald traces the life, career and charitable endeavors of Jewish businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald during the early 20th century. Rosenwald spent much of the fortune he amassed as the president of Sears, Roebuck and Co. to help impoverished African Americans through challenge grants to build schools in rural areas in Southern states that would become known as the Rosenwald schools. His Rosenwald Fund also gave fellowships to many African Americans to develop their artistic skills. Recipients included writers Ralph Ellison and Zora Neale Hurston, opera singer Marian Anderson, photographer Gordon Parks, and painter Jacob Lawrence. Rosenwald, who also founded the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, died in 1932 at age 69. All told, he gave away $63 million to the causes he supported. Rosenwald opened Oct. 9 in Austin. Aviva Kempner’s previous documentaries include The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg.
Aired: Oct. 8, 2015
Web site: http://rosenwaldfilm.org/