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Public invited to see ‘Rosenwald’ documentary

The Woodville-Rosenwald School Foundation is offering an opportunity for local residents, employers, educators, students and families to learn more about the origins and historic significance of Gloucester’s Woodville School and its important connection to Gloucester, the Middle Peninsula, and thousands of other African-American schools constructed throughout the South in the early part of the 20th Century.

People are invited to watch the documentary “Rosenwald” free online, beginning today and then join in a virtual panel discussion at noon on Thursday.

To see the documentary, visit and follow the link on the main page. When asked for a password, type WOODVILLE in all caps.

The documentary chronicles how businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald (president of Sears Roebuck in 1908), joined with African-American communities in the segregated South to build more than 5,000 schools during the early part of the 20th century, at a time when formal education for Black youth in the South was a neglected—or entirely forgotten—endeavor.

At noon on Thursday, all are invited to join in a panel discussion with filmmaker Aviva Kempner and local historians. A link to the panel discussion will be posted on the foundation’s page at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Dr. Walter Clemons, superintendent of Gloucester County Public Schools, will serve as moderator. In addition to Kempner, participants will include Dr. Wesley Wilson, president of the Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation; Dr. Maurice Jackson, Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University; Eugene Johnson, alumnus of the Gloucester Training School, Class of 1944; GHS teacher Dianne Carter DeMayo, and Dr. Chuck Wagner, Assistant Superintendent for GCPS.


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