National Park Service Sends Grants to Preserve Alabama Civil Rights Sites, Expand Black History Exhibits and Programs

Federal funds flow into Alabama to help preserve important civil rights sites and create new exhibits and programs related to black history in the state.

U.S. Representative Terri Sewell shared information about new National Park Service grants, which will support 11 projects in Alabama.

“I am thrilled that more than $3.6 million in National Park Service funding is being invested in Alabama to preserve the living history of the civil rights movement,” Sewell said in a press release.

“As a representative of the U.S. Civil Rights District, I am proud to lead the Congressional effort each year to increase funding for the National Park Service’s Civil Rights Historic Preservation Grant Program to ensure the longevity of the he history of civil rights in the United States is a great victory for the State of Alabama and the many foot soldiers and freedom fighters on whose shoulders we stand.

Here are the Alabama projects receiving funding from the Park Service under its African American Civil Rights Grant Program:

  • $500,000 to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Birmingham for preservation, restoration and repair.
  • $500,000 to the Mount Zion Center Foundation Inc. in Montgomery for the rehabilitation of the Memorial Annex at Mount Zion AME Zion Church.
  • $500,000 to the Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society Inc. for the preservation of Selma’s endangered Brown Chapel AME Church.
  • $500,000 to Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Selma AL Legacy Foundation Inc. for Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church critical systems and accessibility upgrades.
  • $499,799 to Auburn University for the stabilization and exterior rehabilitation of Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull.
  • $499,521 to the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation to rehabilitate the historic Sullivan Building for use as a community and cultural center.
  • $469,500 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the stabilization and preservation of the Clotilda in Mobile, the last known slave ship to deliver enslaved Africans to the United States.
  • $50,000 to the Alabama Historical Commission for planning an indoor exhibit at the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery.
  • $50,000 to the Birmingham Black Radio Museum for a permanent exhibit at the recently restored Carver Theatre.
  • $50,000 to the City of Montgomery for civil engineering for the project: “The Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama: The Planned Destruction of a Thriving African-American Community.”
  • $46,588 to Auburn University for “Memory and the March: Oral Histories with Selma’s Foot Soldiers.”

The grants awarded to Alabama sites and projects are among 44 awarded across the country, totaling more than $16 million. Alabama received the most grants. Georgia followed with grants awarded to eight projects.

“African American Civil Rights Grants are essential to help preserve and interpret a fuller narrative of the people, places, and events associated with the African American Civil Rights Movement,” said the director of the service. park, Chuck Sams, in a separate press release.

The African American Civil Rights Grant Program helps document, interpret, and preserve sites and stories related to the struggle of African Americans to achieve equal rights as citizens. The grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the Park Service, Sewell’s press release said.