January 27, 2017

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Historical Commission

AHC RECEIVES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GRANT FOR ALABAMA HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES PROJECT

For Immediate Release
January 27, 2017


Media Contact: Jacqulyn Kirkland, 334-230-2690 or jacqulyn.kirkland@ahc.alabama.gov
     
AHC RECEIVES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GRANT FOR ALABAMA HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES PROJECT

The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) received funds to complete the Alabama Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Survey and Nomination Project. This project will provide a comprehensive survey of extant four-year HBCUs in Alabama.

On January 5, 2017 Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced $500,000 in grants to help fund projects across the country to increase the number of listings associated with communities that are underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places.

The AHC project has two goals: 1) survey and update existing National Register historic district nominations for five HBCUs in Alabama and 2) survey and nominate to the National Register of Historic Places the four remaining HBCU campus historic districts in Alabama.

The campuses to benefit from this grant are Alabama State University in Montgomery, A&M University and Oakwood College in Huntsville, Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Talladega College in Talladega, Selma University and Concordia College in Selma, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa and Miles College in Birmingham.

Currently, the five colleges listed in the National Register of Historic Places as historic districts are Alabama State University, Alabama A&M University, Miles College, Talladega College and Tuskegee University. Tuskegee University was listed as a National Historic Landmark in the 1960s and a portion of the campus is managed as a national historic site by the National Park Service. Stillman College was listed in 2016 as a historic district in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and several buildings on the campus of Selma University are also listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

The Alabama Historical Commission HBCUs Survey and National Register project was the only one to be funded in Alabama and was one of only 12 projects funded in nine states through this grant. Many of the state's HBCUs as well as their supporters submitted a letter of support for the grant application. The AHC has sought support from all cities with HBCUs in their jurisdiction and from the institutions themselves.  In fact, in the early 1990s, the Black Heritage Council, with support from the AHC, placed a spotlight on these campuses through the development of a poster project that chronicled the history of the state's HBCUs.

Alabama's HBCUs, which have played a major role in the state's history as well as the history of the nation, are worthy of this distinguished designation. The Alabama Historical Commission’s proposed survey and nomination project will benefit these historical institutions in preserving their campuses while also educating others about their significant role in the history of Alabama, and the nation. Some of the foremost figures in American history either attended an HBCU, have an ancestor who attended an HBCU or received some form of their education through an HBCU. Prominent examples include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Rosa Parks and others.

Read more about the grants and other projects here.

About the Alabama Historical Commission
Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S. Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities. For a complete list of programs and properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission fees please visit http://ahc.alabama.gov/  

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