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11/28/2017

Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office Receives National Grant to Study African American History

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to study African American history and historic places in Pennsylvania. 

The two-year study will examine churches, schools, cemeteries, fraternal buildings and other structures important to African American history in Pennsylvania. The project includes preparing a historic context for these types of properties, nominating a property associated with African American history to the National Register of Historic Places and providing education and outreach opportunities about African American history in Pennsylvania.
 
The project will build on earlier PA SHPO studies about African American history and historic communities, which were funded through the Preserve America program. 
 
The story of African Americans in Pennsylvania is both rich and deep, yet there remains little information about the built environment that reflects this powerful, historical story. To date, there have been no statewide studies that link the built environment to African American history in Pennsylvania.
 
PA SHPO is one of 13 organizations in the country to receive the grant which is funded by the federal Historic Preservation Fund.
 
PA SHPO, a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), has partnered with Dr. Steven Burg, Chair of the History and Philosophy Department at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, PA, and Barbara Barksdale and Brenda Barrett of the non-profit group, PA Hallowed Grounds Project to complete the project. Their contributions, which will include research, a National Register nomination and assistance with programming, will continue beyond the life of the grant.
 
This grant gives Pennsylvania the opportunity to create a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of not only the commonwealth’s diverse history, but also that of Pennsylvania’s African American communities.  This project will emphasize important themes from Pennsylvania’s storied African American past, while attempting to bring a new perspective to the study of African American history.
 
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit PHMC online at www.phmc.pa.gov.
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639
 
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