Exploring South Carolina's Rosenwald and Equalization Schools

Have you ever come across one of South Carolina's "Rosenwald Schools" or "Equalization Schools?" 

Rosenwald Schools were a progressive educational program born of a partnership between Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute, and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of the Sears Roebuck Company. These early 20th century schools played a critical role in educating young African-American students in rural communities, and around 5,000 schools were built between 1917 and 1932. 

Equalization Schools were created by the state government during the 1950s, in an attempt to prove the success of "separate but equal" schools . . . and to circumvent desegregation. Funding for these modern schools was produced through the first SC sales tax (3%), which funded new schools for white and black students - albeit still segregated. For a map of these schools - and further reading - check out: www.scequalizationschools.org

We took a look at two examples of these historic schools on location. Join Explore Up Close, Chumley Cope, and let's go . . . 

The Hope Rosenwald School in Newberry County, South Carolina (built 1926)


Mary H. Wright - A South Carolina Upstate Equalization School (built 1951) 


Posted on May 18th in History and Culture