Saving African American Historic Places
For people and organizations who are working to save or interpret African American historic places, the National Trust for Historic Preservation offers a wide range of resources to help and inspire you. On this page you will find case studies of successful projects, profiles of your colleagues in the field, reports and news, and links to related organizations. To be part of the network of preservationists, join the Listserv, sign up for our e-newsletter, or become a member of Forum.
Find African American Historic Places
The Rosenwald School Building Program has been called the "most influential philanthropic force that came to the aid of Negroes at that time." It began in 1912 when Booker T. Washington approached Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, with an idea for a pilot program that was to have a dramatic impact on the face of the rural South. Learn more »
In the early 1900s, the unique collaboration between Booker T. Washington and Chicago philanthropist Julius Rosenwald resulted in the construction of 5,000 schools for African Americans. After desegregation ended, most Rosenwald schools were closed and many were demolished or forgotten. Thanks to the support of the Rosenwald Family, the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation and grassroots activists across the South, Rosenwald schools are being preserved and returned to active roles in community life.
New Hampshire native Valerie Cunningham is the Executive Director of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Inc. An accomplished community historian and historic preservationist, Valerie is now actively involved in the creation of a statewide African-American heritage trail that includes New Hampshire cities such as Exeter, Jaffrey, Manchester, Milford, Nashua and Warner. Learn more »
In April 2008, the Texas Historical Commission and the Summerlee Foundation completed the Bull Hill Cemetery preservation project. Learn how innovative archeologists and anthropologists uncovered this cemetery's past and effectively engaged the community. This case study is ideal for practicing preservationists seeking innovative models for their own projects. Learn more »