Forty sites and organizations with deeply-rooted ties to Black history will receive more than $3 million in grants from the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, ensuring that they’ll be preserved for years to come.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which maintains the action fund, announced the recipients of the grants on Thursday.
Brent Leggs, the action fund’s executive director, said this to CNN about the importance of the work the initiative does each year.
“What it means to preserve a landmark in this instance is really about telling overlooked stories embodied in those places — ones of African American resilience, activism and achievement — that are fundamental to the nation itself,” he said.
The year’s list of recipients includes the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, which was the site of Emmett Till’s funeral; Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., which is home to the port where the first ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived to North America in 1619; and a project developed by the North Carolina African-American Heritage Commission to create a digital mapping program for Negro Motorist Green Book sites throughout the country.
You can read the entire list and learn more about the historical significance of the grant recipients here.
Since its inception in 2017, the action fund has raised $45 million and supported more than 150 preservation projects in the United States. Its mission is to “protect places that have been overlooked in American history and represent centuries of African-American activism, achievement and resilience.”
According to CNN, the National Trust for Historic Preservation initially launched the fund after white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Va. claiming they were there to save a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
We all know what ultimately happened there.
Fast-forward to now. Not only is it notable that the action fund is still going strong and keeping Black history alive, but just last weekend, the very statue of a treasonous man and his horse that sparked the deadly events that inspired the establishment of the fund was dismantled and taken out of the public view.
Don’t you love it when things come full-circle?