The Triumph of the
Rosenwald Graduates & Fellows
Top photo: Feb. 15, 2011, Barber.
Pauli Murray, Rosenwald Fellow. n.d., The New Yorker. "Her book, States’ Laws on Race and Color, was published in 1951. Thurgood Marshall...described the book as the Bible for civil rights lawyers." - Pauli Murray Project 
"Pauli Murray co-wrote a law-review
article subsequently used by a rising star at the A.C.L.U.—one Ruth Bader Ginsburg—to convince the Supreme Court that the Equal Protection Clause applies to women."
- Schulz 
The Rosenwald Schools helped close the education gap for African-Americans in the South.
Outcomes in Education
While not the only factor, the data demonstrates that Rosenwald Schools helped African-Americans attain greater educational parity with Whites over time.
Both pages from Aaronson and Mazumder,
The Impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black Achievement, 2011
[Read the entire article > The Impact of Rosenwald Schools]
Rosenwald graduates and fellows became leaders in the civil rights movement and the legal cases that led to desegregation.
Brown v. BOE
Numerous Rosenwald Fellows and graduates were involved with the success of Brown v. BOE.
Mamie and Kenneth Clark performed social science research on the impact of segregation on young children, which was crucial evidence presented to the Justices.
The Clarks, the first and second African-Americans to receive PhDs from Columbia University, conducted experiments in which they asked children to express their feelings about brown- and white-skinned dolls. From their responses, which overwhelmingly favored white-skinned dolls, the Clarks concluded that segregation was psychologically damaging to the children. The results of these experiments are believed to be the “first social science evidence considered as hard fact by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. BOE.” 
Pauli Murray, in her final paper in law school, formalized the idea that segregation violate both the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Years later, her law school professor joined Thurgood Marshall's team and presented Murray's paper to them. This was the team that successfully argued Brown v. BOE in 1954. 
"In preparing its second brief in the Brown v. BOE case, the NAACP relied heavily on the knowledge and research skills of many scholars, a number of whom had pursued graduate studies with awards from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, a foundation devoted to the advancement of African-Americans and improvement in race relations. Beyond helping talented people earn advanced degrees, the fellowship program had the larger purpose of strengthening black leadership to effect social change. Examination of the role played in Brown by these Rosenwald Fellows reveals their significant contribution to this key Supreme Court decision, an outcome keeping with the Fund's main goal." - Alfred Perkins 
Under pressure to progress as rapidly as possible, Thurgood Marshall delegated crticial work to his staff. Robert Carter, Marshall's right-hand man, coordinated all the preparations for the reargument, while John Aubrey Davis directed all non-legal research. Both Carter and Davis had pursued their graduate degrees under a grant from the Rosenwald Fund. 
[Read the entire article > Welcome Consequences]
Carlotta Walls LaNier, a Rosenwald graduate, became one of the Little Rock Nine who challenged local laws and integrated Central High School in 1957. She credited her experience at a Rosenwald School with encouraging her determination and ability to succeed in High School. 
"My grandfather went to a Rosenwald School, my father integrated the school system in Rahway, NJ, and I went to a Historically Black College." - Curtis Valentine 
"I can feel the connection that runs from the Rosenwald Fund and Sears and Roebuck in Chicago, to Tuskegee in Alabama, to the civil rights movement in the American South, to the political movement that created the first black president. It's a wonderful feeling to know that I've lived through most of that." - Julian Bond, civil rights leader, whose father was a Rosenwald Fellow who worked for the Rosenwald Fund 
"In multiple ways - by philosophical conviction, by funding critical research, by direct financial support to the NAACP, and perhaps above all, by identifying promising scholars and enabling them to use their talents for societal change - the Rosenwald Fund contributed greatly...to the elimination of legally-enforced school segregation." - Alfred Perkins 
Jayne Beilke notes that the Fund helped strengthen America’s HBCUs and greatly expanded African-American educational leadership. The achievements of Rosenwald Fellows challenged the “very rationality of segregation.” The Rosenwald grantees, and the Fund itself, says Beilke, were “instruments of social progress.” 
Contributions Across American Society
Graduates and fellows became diplomats, scientists, doctors, educators, writers, and artists who rose to the forefront of American culture.
Robert Carter (second from left) with the NAACP Legal Team. Thurgood Marshall is second from right. "In addition to Brown, Carter was also involved in seminal civil rights cases such as Sweatt v. Painter; over the course of his career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, he won 21 out of 22 cases before the Supreme Court." - NPR, January 4, 2012.