Over $3.6 million in funding, drawn from the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grant Program, has been awarded to Alabama to preserve historic sites related to African American history in the state.
Eleven historical sites in Alabama were selected to receive funds, either directly or through associate organizations, including Birmingham’s Saint Paul United Methodist Church, the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation, and Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma.
“I am thrilled that over $3.6 million in funding from the National Park Service is being invested into Alabama to preserve the living history of the Civil Rights Movement,” said U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, in a statement made Monday. “As the Representative of America’s Civil Rights District, I’m proud to lead the congressional effort every year to increase funding for the National Park Service Civil Rights Historic Preservation Grant Program to ensure that America’s civil rights history lives on. This is a big win for the State of Alabama and the many Foot Soldiers and Freedom Fighters on whose shoulders we stand.”
$469,500 in funds given to the Alabama Historical Commission will be used specifically for the “stabilization and preservation” of the wreckage of the scuttled slave ship Clotilda, the last-known ship to transport enslaved peoples to the United States. In addition, nearly $500,000 is being given to Auburn University to preserve the Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull, one of the 14 schools constructed in Montgomery County in the early 1900s through Rosenwald Fund grants to provide educational opportunities for African Americans living in rural southern counties. A further $500,000 will be granted to the Mount Zion Center Foundation in Montgomery for renovation and rehabilitation work on Mount Zion AME Zion Church Memorial Annex building.
Dr. Charles P. Everett, IV, President of the Mount Zion AME Center Foundation, thanked Sewell for her efforts in helping the foundation’s grant application process by providing information on the program through grant workshops.
“The Genesis of our success began with Congresswoman Sewell,” said Dr. Charles P. Everett, IV, President of the Mount Zion AME Center Foundation, in a statement Monday. “She provided information through grant workshops, which assisted our efforts in forming a team to work towards a successful application. We believe that when God gives you a vision, the provision will follow. We are grateful to the Congresswoman, God, and the entire Mount Zion A.M.E. Center Foundation Team.”
A complete list of funds awarded and grant recipients is included below.
- $500,000 to Birmingham’s Saint Paul United Methodist Church for preservation, restoration, and repair.
- $50,000 to the Birmingham Black Radio Museum for the permanent exhibit at the Carver Theatre.
- $499,799 to Auburn University for stabilization and exterior rehabilitation of the Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull.
- $469,500 to the Alabama Historical Commission for stabilization and preservation of the Schooner Clotilda in Mobile, the Last-known Slave Ship to Import Enslaved Africans to the United States.
- $500,000 to the Mount Zion Center Foundation, Inc. in Montgomery for the rehabilitation of the Mount Zion AME Zion Church Memorial Annex.
- $50,000 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the Freedom Rides Museum Interior Exhibit Plan in Montgomery.
- $50,000 to the City of Montgomery for the civil engineering of “The Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama: The Planned Destruction of a Prosperous African American Community”.
- $46,588 to Auburn University for “Memory and the March: Oral Histories with Selma’s Foot Soldiers”.
- $500,000 to the Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Inc. for the preservation of Selma’s endangered Historic Brown Chapel AME Church.
- $500,000 to the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Selma AL Legacy Foundation, Inc. for critical systems and accessibility upgrades to Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church.
- $499,521 to the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation for rehabilitation of the Historic Sullivan Building for use as a community and culture center.