Airforce Captain Matt Quy and his wife Tina decided to rebuilt an old crop duster aircraft, which, unbeknownst to them, had been used to train Tuskegee Airmen. The couple were told the unexpected news when they sent the serial number to an Air Force historian. The Tuskegee Airmen were America’s first black squadrons who gained fame during World War II. To see the video from 60 Minutes, click here. To find out more about the Tuskegee Airmen, don’t forget to see Rosenwald when it hits theaters later this summer. There is a great story about the building of the airfield in the film.
We are happy to report that the screening of Rosenwald at the National Center for Jewish Film’s JEWISHFILM.2015 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston went off without a hitch! It was a full house, with some members of Julius Rosenwald’s family in attendance. Peter Ascoli, biographer and grandson of Julius Rosenwald, and director Aviva Kempner spoke after the film. The audience members had wonderful responses, one of whom said it was the best documentary he had ever seen. The Museum currently has an exhibit on Gordon Parks, including shots of overcrowding in Chicago, which is a theme in the film. Rosenwald will open in New York on August 14 at the Sunshine Cinema.
Samuel Reshevsky, the famous Polish child chess prodigy, learned to play at age 4. By age 8, he was playing numerous opponents at once and easily beating experts. When his family came to the United States, his parents never registered him for school, and they were eventually taken to court over it. Julius Rosenwald became his benefactor, and would provide his livelihood on the condition that he would complete his education. Reshevsky gave up competitive chess for seven years and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1934. He never went on to become a fully professional chess player, but he became an international grandmaster.
Summer is almost here, which means soon Rosenwald will be playing at theaters all over the country! We are excited to announce that the big opening day is August 14th in New York City. See below for the full list to find out if Rosenwald will be playing in a theater near you. More theaters will be announced in the future.
143 E. Houston St.
New York, NY 10002
214 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
5612 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20015
Kendall Square Cinema 9
One Kendall Square, 355 Binney St.
11523 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Regency South Coast Village
1561 West Sunflower Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Town Center 5
17200 Ventura Blvd. #121
Encino, CA 91316
2300 E. Baristo Rd.
Palm Springs, CA 92262
601 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
2230 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
Midtown Art Cinema
931 Monroe Dr. NE C212
Atlanta, GA 30308
3911 West 50th St.
Edina, MN 55424
Center for Contemporary Arts
1050 Old Pecos Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505
“Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection” Exhibit Opening at The National Museum of American HistoryMay 7th, 2015
On Friday, May 8, The National Museum of American History will open the exhibit “Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection.” It is a smaller version of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is aiming for a 2016 opening. Sections in the exhibit include African American history, African American culture, and African Americans in the military. It was around the time that African American soldiers were returning from World War I that Julius Rosenwald began building schools all over the South in partnership with African American communities for their children. A desk from one of the Rosenwald schools and photos are on display in the exhibit. The exhibit also includes works by Jacob Lawrence, who received a Rosenwald grant for his Great Migration series.
Exciting news! After Rosenwald’s Tennessee premiere at the Nashville Film Festival in mid-April, it won the Lipscomb University Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
This award is given to one film each year that the jury feels addresses religion and spirituality in the most inclusive and high-quality way.
Congratulations to the memory of Julius Rosenwald and his following of the Jewish teachings of “repairing the world”. See Rosenwald’s award here: https://nashvillefilmfestival.org/feature-award-winners-2/, as well as the list of the other winning films.
Last year, the Lipscomb University Prize of the Ecumenical Jury award was given to the Polish film IDA, and it went on to win the Oscar for best foreign film.
Lipscomb University Associate Professor Ted Parks wrote that “in Rosenwald , filmmaker Aviva Kempner documents the compelling story of a leader generously and courageously devoting his financial resources to improve the plight of pre-Civil Rights African Americans, with his compassion and yearning for justice grounded firmly in his faith tradition.”
In Jonathan D. Sarna’s new book, “Lincoln and the Jews: A History,” he details Abraham Lincoln’s involvement with Jewish people and the role he played in making them equal in America. When Lincoln moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1837, he made his first contact with Jewish people, who were his neighbors, clients, and political allies. Julius Hammerslough, the uncle of Julius Rosenwald whom he was named after, was one of Lincoln’s first Jewish friends. He was there when Lincoln was inaugurated in 1861 and often visited him in the White House. After Lincoln’s death, Hammerslough was one of the people who met Lincoln’s body in Springfield. He also provided black plumes at Lincoln’s funeral.
Jeff Place, curator and senior archivist of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, researches, organizes, and releases the recordings in the Rinzler archives, which “includes the 12 record labels now collectively known as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.” The Folkways acquisition featured works from Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Lead Belly. Place found Woody Guthrie’s recording of a missing verse from “This Land Is Your Land” that had previously been thought to have never been recorded. He was so excited about his finding, he ran out of his office to tell his co-workers, forgetting that it was a Friday night and no one was there. The verse, which had previously been scribbled on paper, contains the lyrics:
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me
Sign was painted, it said private property
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing
This land was made for you and me.
Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” is featured in Rosenwald, in theaters this summer. To read more about Jeff Place in The Washington Post, click here.
Roy DeBerry, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Hill Country Project, Attended a Rosenwald SchoolMay 4th, 2015
When Roy DeBerry was 9 years old, he began attending a Rosenwald school in Holly Springs, Mississippi. The Rosenwald school had “running water, electricity, and more than one teacher,” something lacking at his old school. While he was a student there, a Freedom School came to his town, which allowed students to learn about topics that were not allowed to be taught at segregated school. These topics included political activism, constitutional rights, and the work of Booker T. Washington and Langston Hughes.
Since the theatrical release of Rosenwald is quickly approaching, the film got a shout out on The New York Times summer movie list! We are excited to see the film being recognized and cannot wait for the official release. Here is the snippet from the Times:
Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) was a high school dropout who became chief executive of Sears, Roebuck. He also directed an enormous amount of philanthropy toward African-American causes. This documentary, from Aviva Kempner, includes interviews with Maya Angelou, Julian Bond and George C. Wolfe.