When the original school for Mount Dora’s African-American children burned in 1922, Mamie Lee Gilbert and Lula Butler spearheaded the drive for a new school.
Seed money was obtained from the Rosenwald Foundation and matching funds came from Reverend Duncan Milner, a winter resident of Mount Dora concerned with racial injustice. The school was completed in 1926 and provided an education for African-American children until 1955 when a new building was built. The building currently houses a Head Start program.
Rosenwald schools are the focus of Ozell Ward’s talk for the Mount Dora Historical Society on Thursday, April 21. Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of Sears Roebuck, built state-of-the art schools for African- American children across the South. The effort has been called the most important initiative to advance black education in the early 20th century.
Ozell Ward will speak about his experiences at the Milner-Rosenwald school in Mount Dora at 6:30 pm at the W.T. Bland library. Photos from Rosenwald schools will also be on display. The W.T. Bland library is located at 1995 Donnelly Avenue in Mount Dora. For more information, call 352-383-0006.
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