A century ago, most African-American children didn\’t have the opportunity to learn how to read and write. In fact politicians in many Southern states were opposed to educating black children at all. But one of the early presidents of Sears Roebuck and Company, Julius Rosenwald, was determined to change that. He launched a school building campaign that resulted in more than 5000 schools for African Americans. Today those old buildings are crumbling, but many communities are trying to save what were the South\’s first public elementary schools for blacks. WUNC\’s Jessica Jones reports from the town of Princeton in Johnston County.
NOTE: This story won first place for education reporting in the 2004 Radio Television Association of the Carolinas Awards banquet.