National Trust for Historic Preservation sends grants to 40 African-American monuments – The Undefeated


The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Thursday that it is distributing $ 3 million in grants to 40 different African-American monuments across the country.

The grants are designed “to help develop American history and to honor the full contribution of African Americans to American history,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the program of trust responsible for grants.

The money funds a range of activities, from a heritage-based entrepreneurial training program for residents of Gullah Geechee in Georgia to cover the country of St. Simons to the preservation of Langston Hughes’ former apartment at Karamu Cleveland House Theater. Leggs cited two that he is particularly proud to have on the list.

The Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago, where Emmett Till’s funeral was held in 1955, will use its grant to complete a stabilization project for the building erected in 1922.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

“There’s Roberts Temple in Chicago. This is the site of Emmett Till’s funeral in 1955, and this building represents the self-determination of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, who held an open casket funeral, and therefore, it was a catalytic moment in rights American civic movement at a time that has shook the soul of our nation, ”he said. “I’m really proud that Robert Temple is on our list and that we can increase recognition for Mamie Till and civil rights.

“Another place that I find really special is the Marian Anderson House in Philadelphia. Marian Anderson transcended the constraints imposed on black performers in the mid-20th century to become the voice of the American civil rights movement. That moment when she sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was another catalyst moment, ”said Leggs. “Through the Action Fund, we are committed to enhancing the importance and contributions that black women have made to our nation.”

The Church of God in Christ at Roberts Temple will use its grant to complete a stabilization project for the building erected in 1922. Marian Anderson House will spend its money on deferred maintenance of the museum exterior and improving safety concerns inside the building.

Some of the other recipients include Mount Zion Baptist Church in Athens, Ohio. It is the last historic Black-owned building constructed by Blacks along the Southeast Ohio River Valley Underground Railroad Corridor, and the African American Museum and Library in Oakland, who needs structural repairs to protect his collection of documents related to African Americans in California. and the West.

The Action Fund was established in 2017 in response to the violent white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Since its inception, the fund has awarded $ 7.3 million to support 105 spaces. Thursday’s announcement was the largest group of grants in the program’s short history.

“I have worked at the National Trust since 2005 and have devoted my entire career to helping communities preserve African American historic places,” said Leggs. “So I personally built myself in that direction and I’m just honored to work at an institution like the National Trust that has created a space for African American professionals to lead and help innovate in the field. “

The Black American West Museum and Heritage Center in Denver will receive grants, which are designed “to help develop American history and to honor the full contribution of African Americans to American history,” said Brent Leggs, executive director from the African American Cultural Heritage. Action fund.

Cyrus McCrimmon / The Denver Post via Getty Images

“We will continue to be ambitious and set a bold agenda for a nation, using the Action Fund to build a national ethic for the preservation of black culture and black history,” Leggs said.

This year, the fund received a $ 20 million grant from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. In addition to the $ 30 million raised previously, primarily from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation, the fund is now the largest preservation organization dedicated to African-American architectural monuments.

Cayla Sweazie, a senior multimedia journalism student and student-athlete with the Morgan State softball team, is from Ashburn, Virginia. , a site for young journalists for young readers.


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