Wesley Burton and Laura Dancy Burton Discuss Their Book "The North Star"
Sat. Nov. 15, 2008, 6-8pm @ The Vaughn Cultural Center inside the Urban
League, 3701 Grandel Sq., St. Louis, MO. 314.615-3624 for info.
PROLOGUE – WHY THE NORTH STAR?
The impetus and inspiration for this book came forth from my wife Laura who remembered one day that her rural Alabama school near the community of Aliceville in Pickens County had been called a “Rosenwald” school. We queried one another as to who Rosenwald was and why rural black schools would have been called by his name.
We commenced an internet search on the computer, and we were shocked and surprised about our research findings concerning Julius Rosenwald. He was born in my home state of Illinois, had been the president of Sears and Roebuck Company where my family had frequently shopped, and was a major contributor to the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, both of which were in my childhood neighborhood on the south side of Chicago near Lake Michigan. Most of my entire educational training had been attained in the state of Illinois with the exception of my educational doctorate which was awarded in South Bend, Indiana; but we had never heard of Julius Rosenwald until my adult life, and then only because my wife had mentioned that she and her brothers had attended a Rosenwald school in rural Alabama.
After more research, we became convinced that probably countless other individuals had never heard about this outstanding Jewish gentleman who had done so much for the black youth of America and black intellectuals who were attempting advanced academic study during the 1920s, 1930s and the1940s; therefore, we felt compelled to write this book so that some legacy would remain for Julius Rosenwald and the outstanding individual black lives that his philanthropic foundation impacted I feel strongly that when the names of Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller are mentioned in the future that those of you who will read this book will remember the name of Julius Rosenwald.
We are glad that Peter M. Ascoli, a grandson of Rosenwald, has felt the same way as we have about the paucity of individuals knowing about the work and endeavors of his famous grandfather and has written a book on this subject that can be found in our index.
The particular theme for my
work concerns the outstanding black intellectuals who received Rosenwald
Foundation grants and scholarships which helped them to achieve at the
highest levels of their ability such as the giants W.E.B. DuBois and Ralph
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