WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service today announced $12.6 million in grants for 51 projects in 24 states that preserve sites and highlight stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century.
“An integral part of the Interior and National Park Service mission is to help preserve and tell America’s story,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “These grants will benefit places across the nation that help tell an essential piece of that story through the African American struggle for civil rights and equality.”
“Through the work and engagement of public and private partners, these grants will preserve a defining part of our nation’s diverse history,” National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith said. “By working with local communities to preserve these historic places and stories, we will help tell a more complete narrative of the African American experience in the pursuit of civil rights.”
Projects receiving grants this year include those that will preserve resources like a baseball stadium used by the Negro National League in Paterson, New Jersey; the home of civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell in Washington, D.C.; and the last standing African American officers’ club at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Grant projects also include statewide surveys to identify lesser-known civil rights sites, planning exhibits and interpretive trails, and collecting oral histories.
Congress appropriated funding for the African American Civil Rights Grants Program in 2016 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. For the second year of this grants program, Congress increased funding from $8 million to $13 million in 2017.
Grant-supported projects include surveys and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, architectural services, historic structure reports, planning, and physical preservation.
SOURCE: National Park Service press release