National Park Service Awards African American Historical Preservation Grants to Five Universities

The African American Civil Rights grant program from the National Park Service has awarded more than $23 million in funding to 39 projects aimed at preserving sites and history relating to African Americans. The following outlines the grants awarded to higher education institutions across the country.

Auburn University received $750,000 to support infrastructure and interior repairs at the local Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull, Alabama. The school is one of 5,000 Rosenwald Schools established across the rural South in the early twentieth century. The schools were built to advance African American children’s education in the largely segregated rural South.

The University of Northern Colorado received $743,224 to revitalize the historic filling station in the Dearfield National Register District. The Dearfield, Colorado, site was home to a 31 square mile farm colony of African American farms and ranches in the 1920s. The rehabilitation project will culminate in a new visitor’s center and museum for the historic town.

Eastern Michigan University received $75,000 to research the historic cultural resources in east Detroit regarding the African American struggle for equality. The findings will be made public and used to develop a civil rights driving tour in the area.

Clemson University received $55,625 to produce nine educational videos regarding local Black history. The videos will examine the history of enslaved people who labored on the former John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation, upon which Clemson University was built, and the history of the local Black population through the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The University of South Carolina received $4.25 million to rehabilitate the former Florence C. Benson Elementary School that educated Black students during the era of racial segregation and is now on the university’s campus. The project will transform the historic school into an on-campus space for academic and administrative programs as well as community projects.

The full list of grants awarded by the National Park Services’ African American Civil Rights grant program can be found here.

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