National Park Service Announces $14 Million in Grants to Preserve African American Civil Rights

Hamtramck Stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan is one of only five major league Negro League ballparks remaining in the country. Photo courtesy of Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium

The National Park Service (NPS) today announced $14 million in African American Civil Rights Historic Preservation Fund grants to fund 51 projects across 20 states and the District of Columbia that will preserve sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century.

“These grants will fund important projects that document, interpret, and preserve sites that tell the stories of the African American experience in the pursuit of civil rights,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela, exercising the authority of the Director. “Thanks to the coordination of public and private partners, these projects will help connect Americans to historic places that preserve American history.”

Congress appropriated funding for the African American Civil Rights Grants Program in 2019 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars. Grant-supported projects include surveys and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, architectural services, historic structure reports, planning, and physical preservation.

“From 1923 to 1953, the Americus Colored Hospital was the only medical facility in the South where black medical professionals could practice and serve people of color. This hospital was vital to African Americans during Jim Crow and produced more trained professionals than larger cities like Atlanta, New York, and Chicago. During the Civil Rights Movement in Americus, the building became a Freedom Center and continued to serve the African American community in a new way,” said Georgia Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. “I am pleased this grant will preserve the Colored Hospital so future generations can learn about the strong civil rights history in southwest Georgia.”

“The preservation of these projects is an invaluable investment in the campuses, communities and individuals they serve,” said South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn. “I am pleased that these funds will continue to allow our communities to learn from the Civil Rights Movement and the important role that South Carolina played in making America’s greatness apply more fairly and equitably to all of its citizens.”

“This grant from the National Park Service is great news for the advancement of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot location as a site of historic importance and furthers our efforts to designate it as a National Historic Monument,” said Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis. “I look forward to seeing these funds raise awareness and understanding of the site with the general public.”

“Completed in 1918, Taborian Hall became a centerpiece of the African American community in central Arkansas and, during its heyday, showcased musical greats like Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dizzie Gillespie. In recent decades, Taborian Hall had fallen into disrepair and would have likely been demolished had Kerry McCoy and Friends of Dreamland not purchased it with the vision of restoring it to its former glory,” said Arkansas Congressman French Hill. “I commend the National Park Service for allocating nearly $500,000 to renovate and preserve this site and recognize its importance in the struggle for equality.”

Projects receiving grants this year will preserve resources, places, and stories like the Shepard Library at Stillman College, the Albert Kahn House in Detroit, Michigan, and the Greenwood Center buildings in Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Grant projects also include surveys across the country from Montgomery, Alabama to Muskegon, Michigan to identify lesser-known civil rights sites.

For more information about the grants and the African America Civil Rights Grant Program, visit https://www.nps.gov/preservation-grants/civil-rights/. Applications for $15.5 million in FY2020 funding will be available in the fall of 2020.

Awards:

 

State Projects Grantee Award
Alabama

Birmingham

Preservation and Repair of St. Paul United Methodist Church St. Paul United Methodist Church $500,000
Alabama

Birmingham

Rehabilitation of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Phase 4 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church  $500,000
Alabama

Birmingham

Rehabilitation of the Historic Bethel Church Historic Bethel Baptist Church Community Restoration Fund $345,400
Alabama

Montgomery

Montgomery, Alabama Civil Rights Multiple Property Nomination Alabama Historical Commission $50,000
Alabama

Montgomery

Freedom Rides Museum Exhibit Fabrication Alabama Historical Commission $50,000
Alabama

Montgomery

Rehabilitation of Mount Zion A.M.E. Zion Church Memorial Annex Mount Zion Center Foundation, Inc $500,000
Alabama

Montgomery

Preservation of the Bertha Pleasant Williams Library Montgomery City-County Public Library $470,601
Alabama

Montgomery

Moore Building Second Floor Rehabilitation Alabama Historical Commission $500,000
Alabama

Selma

Oral Histories: Selma’s Voting Rights Women Foot Soldiers Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Selma AL LegacyFoundationInc $37,000
Alabama

Selma

Critical Repairs to Tabernacle Baptist Church-Phase I Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Selma AL LegacyFoundationInc $500,000
Alabama

Talladega

Talladega College and the Civil Rights Movement: A Watershed in History Talladega College $50,000
Alabama

Talladega

Foster Hall Interior Rehabilitation Talladega College $500,000
Alabama

Tuscaloosa

Preservation Planning for Sheppard Library Stillman College $50,000
Arkansas

Little Rock

Survey and Nomination of University Park Subdivision, Little Rock, Arkansas City of Little Rock $35,000
Arkansas

Little Rock

Taborian Hall Preservation and Access Project Friends of Dreamland $499,723
California

Santa Ana

Summer of Civil Rights: Chronicling the Black Movement in Santa Ana, CA Heritage Museum of Orange County $24,830
District of Columbia Black Power in 20th Century Washington, DC: A Context Study DC Preservation League $50,000
District of Columbia ‘Ain’t No Back to a Merry-Go-Round’ Documentary Film Project Women in Film & Video, Inc. $50,000
Florida

Miami

Survey of the African American Brownsville Sub-division, Miami, FL Dade Heritage Trust, Inc. $50,000
Florida

Yulee

Historic Structure Report for Evans’ Rendezvous Nassau County Board of County Commissioners $28,180
Georgia

Americus

Rehabilitation of the Americus Colored Hospital Phase 2 Americus-Sumter County Movement Remembered Committee, Inc $499,697
Georgia

Atlanta

Stayed on Freedom: Oral Histories of the Civil Rights Movement at Spelman College Spelman College $50,000
Georgia

Atlanta

Restoration of the Historic West Hunter Street Baptist Church- Phase 3 Ralph David Abernathy III Foundation, Inc. $499,980
Georgia

Atlanta

Rehabilitation of Fountain (Stone) Hall Morris Brown College $500,000
Georgia

Fort Oglethorpe

Oral History of African American WAC Battalion at Fort Oglethorpe Friends of the 6th Cavalry Museum Inc $28,578
Illinois

Springfield

1908 Springfield, IL Race Riot Augmented Reality Ap Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition $50,000
Kentucky

Louisville

Quinn Chapel AME Church Masonry Stabilization Louisville Jefferson County Metropolitan Government $500,000
Louisiana

New Orleans

McDonogh 19 Historic Cafeteria, Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans Leona Tate Foundation for Change, Inc. $500,000
Massachusetts

Great Barrington

Interpretive Exhibit Design for the Historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington, MA. Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, Inc. $50,000
Michigan

Detroit

Restoration of the Detroit Urban League Headquarters / Albert Kahn House Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan $500,000
Michigan

Detroit

Rehabilitation of the Grandstands of Historic Hamtramck Stadium Charter County of Wayne, Michigan $490,729
Michigan

Lansing

Muskegon County Historic Resource Survey Michigan Strategic Fund $50,000
North Carolina

Charlotte

A Virtual Sense of Place: Critical Black Urbanism in Charlotte, NC Johnson C. Smith University $35,000
North Carolina

Oxford

Rehabilitation of Mary Potter School Shop Building 76-C National Mary Potter Club, Inc. $500,000
North Carolina

Raleigh

The Untold Stories of the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Places of Northeastern North Carolina: A Research Study NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources $50,000
North Carolina

Raleigh

Rehabilitation of the Benbury-Frinks House NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources $241,940
North Carolina

Salisbury

Preservation of Historic Monroe Street School Livingstone College $500,000
New Jersey

Burlington City

William R. Allen School Rehabilitation City of Burlington $500,000
New Jersey

Cape May City

Rehabilitation of the Franklin Street School City of Cape May $500,000
New York

Buffalo

Michigan Street Baptist Church Protection and Rehabilitation Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, Inc. $204,845
Ohio

Cincinnati

Union Baptist Cemetery Historic Preservation Project The Union Foundation $400,000
Ohio

Dayton

Adaptive Use of Summit Street Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Early Visions $500,000
Oklahoma

Tulsa

Rehabilitation of the Greenwood Center Buildings in historic “Black Wall Street” Tulsa, OK Greenwood Community Development Corporation $500,000
South Carolina

Columbia

John Henry McCray and the Role of the Black Press in the Civil Rights Movement Allen University $43,897
South Carolina

Columbia

Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium Building Preservation Project University of South Carolina $500,000
South Carolina

Columbia

Starks Center Rehabilitation Project Benedict College $500,000
South Dakota

Sturgis

The Green Siblings Project: Oral Histories of the Little Rock Nine Siblings Black Hills Special Services Cooperative $25,000
Texas

Dallas

Fair Park Hall of Negro Life Research and Discovery Project City of Dallas $50,000
Virginia

Charlottesville

Rehabilitation of First Baptist Church Virginia Department of Historic Resources $240,000
West Virginia

Barboursville

 

Historic Memphis Tennessee Garrison House Rehabilitation Project The Carter G Woodson Memorial Foundation, Inc. $146,100
West Virginia

Charles Town

Preservation & Restoration of the First Free Black School and Star Lodge No. 1 City of Charles Town, West Virginia $118,500
21 States 51 projects $14,065,000

Leave a Comment