National Trust Supports Excellent Public Programs at African American Historic Places

Grants Awarded to Projects in Alabama, Massachusetts, and Virginia

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to announce that it has awarded a total of $20,000 in grants to four projects to improve the interpretation of African American historic places. These four projects will help raise awareness of African American sites and their significance in American history and provide model programs for other historic sites across the country. Developed as collaborative projects between historic sites and universities, the four projects are:

  • Scottsboro Boys Museum University-Community Partnership by the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center and New College, University of Alabama to interpret the historic places associated with the Scottsboro Boys, who in the 1930s became international symbols of Jim Crow injustice in the American South. The project will include consultation with a team of scholars and development of a walking-driving trail of historic sites in Scottsboro (Alabama) related to the trial.
  • 100 Years of African American Life and Leadership in Falls Church, Virginia by the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation and George Mason University to research and interpret an African American community during the 19th and 20th centuries to help students, teachers, and residents more fully appreciate the contributions of African Americans to city, state, and nation. The project will include an interactive web site with a virtual tour of the community, lesson plans, a timeline, and more than 100 digitized primary resources, such as documents, photographs, maps, artifacts, letters, and oral histories; a self-guided tour of the community with a map; two tours of the community guided by historical characters; and two teacher-training workshops that include lesson plans that meet Virginia’s standards of learning.
  • African Americans in Early New England by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association and Williams College to gather and interpret the most recent scholarship related to African American history in Deerfield (Massachusetts) within a wider context of slavery in the Northeast. The project will include a podcast and printed touring map of nearly two dozen African American historic places in Deerfield; an online K-12 curriculum on African American history using these sites; and updated information on African American collection resources on the PVMA’s web site.
  • Building Belmead: The Layers of African American History by FrancisEmma, Inc. and the University of Virginia to interpret two African American boarding schools founded in the 1890s near Charlottesville (Virginia): St. Francis de Sales for girls and St. Emma Industrial and Agricultural Institute for boys. The project will share the African American history of the buildings and landscape of St. Francis and St. Emma to the public on a web site and develop and a printed guide to the African American history of the site before it became a school.

The Partnership-in-Scholarship grant program is administered by the Interpreting African American Historic Places Project of the National Trust and supported in part by the Ford Foundation. The Project was launched in 2002 to highlight the significance and importance of African American historic places across the country and part of the National Trust’s broader African American Historic Places Program.



The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places., @SavingPlaces