Letters to the Editor, March 23

Mar. 22, 2014 @ 01:49 PM

Pledge a healthy diet

After several months of crippling snowstorms and flooding, I really look forward to spring weather, green grass and flowers in bloom.

The advent of spring is also a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf on our dietary and exercise habits. In fact, I’ve been told that hundreds of communities celebrate the advent of spring with something called the Great American Meatout.

Local health advocates host educational events, where they ask visitors to get a fresh start this spring with a healthy diet of vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and whole grains. For those who need a little encouragement, their website provides useful information and a chance to pledge a healthy diet for one day or more.

Chris Pickens


Beginning of Rosenwald schools

The Herald-Sun on March 16 included an interesting write-up about the preserved Rosenwald School in Halifax County.   I would like to expand on the information presented by highlighting the role of Booker T. Washington in the establishment of these schools.

Being in and of the South, Washington was acutely aware of the lack of schools for blacks, especially in rural areas.  Julius Rosenwald was a trustee of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University).  In 1912, Washington persuaded Rosenwald to use surplus funds from an earlier project to build six small schools -- two each in three counties near Tuskegee, Ala.  The combination of Washington the educator and Rosenwald the successful businessman (Sears and Roebuck) marked the beginning of the Rosenwald Schools.

Following Washington’s death in 1915, administrators at Tuskegee of necessity turned their focus inward.  Beginning in 1917, the newly organized Rosenwald Fund continued the building of schools as one of its programs.

It might be said that all of this could have been accomplished without Booker T. Washington.  From what point, when, how?  In my opinion, it is as unlikely as aviation getting off the ground without the Wright Brothers.

Incidentally, the Russell School is the only remaining  Rosenwald school in Durham.  More information is available at www.rosenwaldschools.com/history.html and at the Durham County Library’s  North Carolina Collection.

Nathan L. Thomas