Shiloh Rosenwald school unveils new history exhibit


Special to the
Opelika Observer

The historic Shiloh Rosenwald School will unveil its first permanent history exhibit on rural education during a special ceremony at the school, 7794 Alabama Highway 81, Notasulga, Alabama at 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 12.
Shiloh, one of the first six Rosenwald Schools built as a partnership between Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald is the only one left at its original location in Macon County where this nationally significant program began over 100 years ago to provide quality educational opportunities for Black Americans.
Developed by the Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation in partnership with the Middle Tennessee State University Center for Historic Preservation, the exhibit tells the fascinating story of rural education before the advent of the personal computer and the cell phone.
Shiloh Rosenwald School, originally built in 1913 and rebuilt in 1922, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The school served three generations of elementary students from the Shiloh and Notasulga communities.  It operated until the end of 1964 when federal court-ordered desegregation led to its closure.
The adjacent Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church acquired the school building, used it for church and community functions, and kept it preserved until the Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation led its restoration in 2007-2008 and long-term preservation.
Another nationally significant event associated with this location is the U.S. Public Health Service “Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” — better known as the “Tuskegee Study” — that took place in Macon County from 1932 to the early 1970s.
The new exhibit also explores the tragedy and significance of this pivotal event in American medical history.  When the press discovered the outrage of a federal program that treated rural Black American patients as experiments, the uproar and subsequent investigations changed medical practice in the United States. Mr. Charlie W. Pollard, a syphilis victim, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the syphilis victims against the U.S. government.
For more information on the Shiloh Rosenwald School, visit


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