Between 1917 and 1932, some 5,000 lovingly designed and constructed Rosenwald Schools were built for rural African American children throughout the South. They constituted a network of educational training camps in which minds were fed and nourished against the dark backdrop of legalized segregation. As such, they helped to lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement.
But the Rosenwald Schools were only physical forms and shapes. To animate the education that took place in them required hundreds of dedicated teachers who devoted their lives and careers to the inspiration and transformation of the children in their charge. To name them all could fill several columns, but to honor them all, let us remember the grand story of Dr. Susie Wheeler—an authentic Georgia hero.