History

Founder of Sears funded schools for African-American students

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Julius Rosenwald, co-founder, part owner and president of  Sears Roebuck & Company, funded schools for black children and teachers throughout the South during the early 1920s.

The Julius Rosenwald Fund donated millions in matching funds to support the education of African-American children in the rural South. The money was spent to hire teachers, enroll students and buy supplies.

One of the schools was the Hope School in Pomeria, Newberry County, South Carolina, which opened in 1925, according to The National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Booker T. Washington, of Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, encouraged Rosenwald to address the deplorable state of African-American education in the U. S., which suffered from inadequate buildings, books and other critical resources. Rosenwald provided funds to build six small schools in rural Alabama, which were constructed and opened in 1913 and 1914, and overseen by Tuskegee.

Sears, which is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, filed for bankruptcy October 15 of this year, but the retailer received a $350 million loan from Cyrus Capital Partners to stay in business through the holidays.

 

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