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National Park Service Announces Over $7.5 Million in Grants to Preserve African American Civil Right

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Washington, D.C. —The National Park Service (NPS) announced funding for 39 projects in more than 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience.

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., is on top of the list. On Sept. 15, 1963, four little girls died in the church after it was bombed by members of the Ku Klux Klan. A symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, the church was placed on U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

“Through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, we’re helping our public and private partners tell unique and powerful stories of the African American struggle for equality in the 20th Century,” National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds said.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s statue in Kelly Lynch Park faces the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama's Civil Rights District. The church is one of 39 projects the National Park Service that will preserved under the African American Civil Rights Grant Program. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. March. 24, 2006.

Congress appropriated funding for the new NPS African American Civil Rights Grant Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

States, Tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, applied for a broad range of planning, preservation, and research projects for historic sites associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American experience. The competitive grant program is funding 39 projects worth $7,750,000, including surveys, documentation, interpretation, education, oral histories, planning, and bricks and mortar preservation.

Projects receiving grants include those that will educate about and preserve resources like Rosenwald Schools across the nation, Civil Rights struggles at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Alabama and Central High School in Arkansas, women that fought for civil rights like Modjeska Simkins in South Carolina, and figures like Oscar DePriest, Emmett Till and Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide surveys to find stories and sites that are not well known will be funded in Michigan, Rhode Island, Ohio, Maryland, Idaho, District of Columbia, California, and New York.

A 2008 National Park Service study, Civil Rights in America: A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites, served as the principal reference for determining the eligibility of proposed projects for the grant program.

Source: U.S. National Park Service

Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church photo art by T. Ray Harvey.

March 24, 2006, (c) Publicity Agents, T. Ray Harvey.

The following African American Civil Rights Grant Program projects.

Preservation Projects:

Grantee, State, Award

Preservation, Repair and Restoration of the Historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church



Preserving Brown Chapel AME from electrical, roofing and structural needs

Historic Brown Chapel AME Preservation Society Inc.



Anniston Freedom Riders Monument

City of Anniston



Preserving Central High - A Civil Rights Monument

City of Little Rock



Restoration of the historic West Hunter Street Baptist Church

Ralph David Abernathy III Foundation Inc.



Preservation of the Oscar Stanton De Priest House National Historic Landmark (NHL)

Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois



St. Mark's A.M.E. Church Rehabilitation

Saint Marks AME Church of Topeka Kansas Inc.



Holy Rosary Institute Main Building Stabilization

Holy Rosary Redevelopment



Civil Rights Museum for the McDonogh 19 building

Leona Tate Foundation For Change Inc.



Hamtramck Stadium pre-development plan

City of Hamtramck



Mitchell Hall Preservation and Rehabilitation

Lincoln University of Missouri



Restoration of Tallahatchie Co. Courthouse first floor, to the period of significance

Emmett Till Memorial Commission of Tallahatchie County Inc.



Pauli Murray Family Home Interior Restoration

Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice

North Carolina


Rehabilitation of the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House

Historic Columbia Foundation

South Carolina


Sandy Island Cultural Initiative

Coastal Carolina University

South Carolina


City of Memphis - Clayborn Temple Preservation Project

City Of Memphis, Div., Housing And Community Development



Third Street Bethel AME Church Rehabilitation and NR Nomination Update

Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR)



Williams Community Resource Center

City of Danville



History Projects:

Grantee, State, Award

Preservation Leadership Training at the Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute



City of Riverside African American Civil Rights History

The City of Riverside



The Rosenwald Schools Mapping Project: Enhancing Understanding of Rosenwald Schools through Web GIS and Story Maps

National Trust for Historic Preservation in the U.S.

District of Columbia


Civil Rights and Neighborhood Change in Washington DC

Smithsonian Institution

District of Columbia


African American 20th Century Civil Rights Heritage Trail

District of Columbia Office of Planning

District of Columbia


Mapping Segregation in Washington DC: The Legal Campaign to End Racially Restrictive Covenants

Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia


National Register Nomination and Interpretive/Educational Materials for Federation Home and Tate Arms African American Student Dormitories

City of Iowa City



Untold Stories: The African American Civil Rights Movement in Idaho

Idaho State Historical Society



The Kentucky Civil Rights Movement Exhibition

Kentucky Center for African American Heritage



The New Orleans Civil Rights Movement Oral History Project to preserve first person testimony of the New Orleans civil rights movement.

Kemper and Lelia Williams Foundation Inc



1320 Eutaw Place: Lillie Carroll Jackson's Home for Freedom

Morgan State University



Beaches and Ballfields: Contested Recreational Spaces and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Anne Arundel County, MD.

Lost Towns Project, Inc.



Detroit's African American Civil Rights History 1900-1970 Survey and Multiple Resource Nomination

Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)



Research, Interpret, and Preserve the Civil Rights History of Natchez and Adams County, Mississippi

Historic Natchez Foundation



Project for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (Sit-In Movement, Inc.)

Sit-In Movement Inc.

North Carolina


Long Island Luminaries: Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Era

Town of North Hempstead, NY

New York


Expanding and Enlivening the Archive Through Community Curators: an Oral History Project to archive witnesses to social & economic justice issues of Weeksville

Society for the Preservation of Weeksville

New York


20th Century African American Civil Rights Movement in Ohio: Evaluating and Nominating Historic Properties

Ohio Historical Society



African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island: The 20th Century

Rhode Island Historical Society

Rhode Island


South Carolina Civil Rights Teacher Institute

University of South Carolina

South Carolina


Give A Damn: Stax Records and Social Justice

Soulsville Foundation



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