Allen University receives funding from the National Park Service

Allen University will receive $43,897 in historic preservation funds from the National Park Service.

The support from the African American Civil Rights History Grant funded by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, will assist Allen in sponsoring programming to promote knowledge about the vital role that African-American newspapers played in South Carolina’s civil rights movement.

The focus of the project will be on the development of educational and interpretive materials and public programming related specifically to The Lighthouse and Informer, which was published by South Carolina civil rights pioneer John Henry McCray in Columbia, South Carolina from 1941-1954.

“We’re excited to be able to offer college students as well as members of the local community opportunities to learn more about the profound impact that journalists like John Henry McCray had on the development of the civil rights movement in South Carolina and beyond,” said Dr. Kevin Trumpeter, principal investigator for the project and the dean of Arts and Humanities at Allen.

The grant will provide summer fellowships for students attending historically black colleges and universities to conduct archival research of African-American newspapers and to collect oral histories from South Carolina residents focusing on how media coverage of civil rights issues in the African-American press galvanized activism in the mid-twentieth century. The grant will also support symposia on the topic of the black press and civil rights, journalism workshops, and the development of free educational resources.

“McCray’s use of media to successfully combat many of the injustices he witnessed around him offers an inspiring example that is relevant to our own historical moment,” said Dr. Trumpeter. “He’s really a heroic figure, and this project will help to preserve and explore the ongoing significance of that legacy.”

The project, which is titled “John Henry McCray and the Role of the Black Press in the Civil Rights Movement,” will run from August 2020 until August 2023.

For more information, contact Dr. Kevin Trumpeter at (803) 255-4782 or at [email protected]

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