Posts tagged with "National Trust for Historic Preservation"

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Brown v. Board of Education Education Sites Linked

Today, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced legislation to honor and commemorate the historic sites that contributed to the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The purpose of this legislation is to expand the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to include historic sites in South Carolina and designate National Park Service (NPS) Affiliated Areas in other states.

It would recognize the importance of the additional sites that catalyzed litigation in Delaware, South Carolina, Kansas, Virginia and Washington, DC, and expand the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. The legislation was crafted in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the Senate, the bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

“This legislative initiative has been a personal mission for me to ensure that all Brown v. Board of Education sites receive their due recognition for the contributions they made to end ‘separate but equal’ education in this country,” Rep. Clyburn said. “I am honored to represent Summerton, South Carolina, where the first case that eventually ended the practice of legal segregation, Briggs v. Elliott, originated, and I knew many of the plaintiffs in that case. The unsung heroes of Briggs v. Elliott, and all the other plaintiffs that collectively became Brown v. Board of Education, must be remembered and memorialized to fully tell the story of how segregation ended in our nation’s public schools.”

“In order to change our future, we must confront our past,” said Senator Coons. “The preservation of historic sites connected to the Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, is an important step in remembering the painful but significant impact the doctrine of separate but equal had on our nation. The Bulah v. Gebhart and Belton v. Gebhart Delaware decisions that were affirmed in Brown v. Board of Education are a story of what is possible when a mother fights for her child, and a lawyer and chancellor fight for change. I’m honored to introduce this legislation in the Senate which will preserve and share this important history.”

“Passage of this legislation will help us tell the full story of Brown V. Board of Education by elevating and protecting these powerful historic places and the inspiring stories of people who have not previously had their story told on a national stage,” said Katherine Malone-France, the Chief Preservation Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka by constitutional scholar Louis H. Pollak as “probably the most important American government act of any kind since the Emancipation Proclamation.” The Brown decision transformed the United States, striking down the separate-but-equal doctrine established by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The Plessy decision was the linchpin that condoned and entrenched legalized segregation across the South, despite protections clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution and underscored by the 14th and 15th Amendments.

 These laws stayed in placed for nearly 100 years after Reconstruction, but pioneering civil rights lawyers Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, William Hastie, Constance Baker Motley, Louis Lorenzo Redding, and others challenged the constitutionality of segregation and won. The Brown decision ended the practice of legalized segregation in educational facilities and was a major catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s.  
 
The history of Brown v. Board of Education is represented in our national consciousness by a single building, Monroe School, which is a National Historic Site located in Topeka, Kansas. This limited geographic scope condenses public memory of these events and inadvertently fails to recognize the contributions of the other communities in Claymont, Delaware; Hockessin, Delaware; Wilmington, Delaware; Summerton, South Carolina; Farmville, Virginia; and the District of Columbia that were also important to the fight for equality and that saw their cases consolidated with the Brown case. The geographic dispersion of these locations demonstrates that Brown v. Board of Education is truly a story of a national struggle with national significance.

“Recognizing Hockessin Colored School #107 as an affiliated area of the National Park System is a fitting tribute to Delaware’s unique role in the Brown decision,” said the Honorable Collins J. Seitz, Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. “Of the five cases appealed in Brown, the Delaware decision in Belton v. Gebhart – requiring the immediate admission of African American students to schools attended by white children – was the only appeal affirmed by the Supreme Court.”

“The family of Louis L. Redding commends the preservation of these historic schools as reminders of the hard-won rights of African Americans to equal access in education,” said JB Redding, on behalf of the family of Louis L. Redding. “Further, their existence serves as a reminder that the struggle for full implementation of these rights continues.”

“With the path to the infamous Brown versus the Board of Education beginning its genesis in Summerton, South Carolina, with the Briggs v. Elliott case, the Clarendon School District One’s Board of Trustees and the local community is humbled and honored to have two historic facilities entrusted to the National Park Service,” said Clarendon Superintendent Barbara Champagne.

The designation of the Summerton School and the Scott’s Branch School is steeped in the authentic American story of the journey for equality and equity. The voices of those courageous men and women who were given the vision for better opportunities and for equitable resources will not remain silent or forgotten. Instead, their voices will echo through the annals of history as a reminder of what can be achieved through determination, perseverance, and faith.

 The creation of NPS Affiliated Areas in Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia for sites associated with the Brown v. Board of Education case and an expansion of theBrown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to include the related sites in South Carolina provides an opportunity for these sites to tell their own uplifting, under-recognized stories of students, parents, and their allies who helped shape American society. 

Enactment of this legislation has the potential to appropriately recognize the sites associated with the other four court cases and help them to combine current uses with preservation and public education.  In collaboration with local partners and other stakeholders, the National Trust will continue their collective work to bring recognition to communities that fought for school integration, helping these sites to tell their own history of the Brown v. Board of Education case and make connections to other communities engaged in the fight for educational equity, past and present.  

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. Visit http://www.savingplaces.org

About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. Visit http://www.savingplaces.org/actionfund

Rita Azar illustrates an article about the American dream for 360 MAGAZINE

Benjamin Moore × National Trust – Celebrate Women’s Heritage

This year, as the nation marks the 100thanniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, Benjamin Moore, North America’s favorite paint, color and coatings brand, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are celebrating this historic milestone with a new program focused on the preservation of sites in America where women from all walks of life have made history. Together, Benjamin Moore and the National Trust identified sites rooted in women’s history and will help restore these places to their former glory.

The Collaboration

The collaboration is part of the National Trust’s multi-year campaign entitled, “Where Women Made History,” dedicated to uncovering and amplifying the powerful, but often overlooked, role of women and their impact on our nation’s history. The campaign’s objective is to bring new resources and attention to women’s history sites. Therefore, galvanizing support for the preservation of these places and inspiring a new generation of 21st century women.

Working together since 2017, this expanded relationship between Benjamin Moore and the National Trust will utilize a hands-on approach to the preservation of sites associated with women’s heritage. Throughout the year, we’ll collaborate with various stakeholders, from painting contractors to historians, to repaint sections of these properties. In addition to donating premium paints, including selections from its Historical Color Collection, Benjamin Moore brings unprecedented color expertise gleaned from its more than 135 years of experience in the paint business. The stunning results of each site’s transformation will be showcased through “before and after” pictures and videos.

“It is a privilege to be able to honor the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement and the ratification of the 19th amendment by preserving several historic sites with significant roots in women’s history,” said Jeannie West, Benjamin Moore Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “Together with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we’ll pay homage to these female trailblazers who helped shape us into the nation we are today.”

“This campaign focused on the contributions women have made to our nation’s heritage is part of the National Trust’s mission to preserve historic places that tell the full American story,” said Katherine Malone France, Chief Preservation Officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “As we uncover and celebrate the role millions of women have played in our nation’s history, we are proud to once again join forces with Benjamin Moore on this important endeavor. For more than a century, Benjamin Moore has been helping Americans revitalize and improve places with their quality products, and I can think of no better partner as we work together to preserve the iconic American places where women made history.”

Benjamin Moore and the National Trust have kicked off this year-long collaboration with two inaugural sites on the West Coast of the United States and will identify additional locations over the next several months.

Initial project sites include:

  • The Women’s Building, San Francisco, CA. An incubator for emerging Bay Area women’s projects, The Women’s Building’s colorful mural façade depicts the power and contributions of women throughout history and the world. Benjamin Moore will work alongside the National Trust to enhance the grand staircase that showcases the building’s colorful mural. Also, the mural makes its way from outside, into the heart of the building.
  • Odd Fellows Building, Astoria, OR. Owned by three women, the Odd Fellows Building has served the local community for more than 90 years. Located in the port city of Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, the Odd Fellows Building was the first structure rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1923. Today, the building houses all women owned businesses and is a flourishing center for local dance, performing arts and physical education classes that enhance, inspire and involve the local community.

Benjamin Moore is deeply committed to its customers, communities and employees. Therefore, providing the highest quality products and giving back where we live and work. As a corporate citizen, Benjamin Moore has a social, environmental and economic responsibility to the community. Through in-kind and financial donations to national and local non-profits Benjamin Moore strives to advance workforce development; housing + community development; and preservation/sustainability efforts across North America.

For more information about this campaign, please click HERE.

About Benjamin Moore & Co.

Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, was founded in 1883. One of North America’s leading manufacturers of premium quality residential, commercial and industrial maintenance coatings. Benjamin Moore maintains a relentless commitment to innovation and sustainable manufacturing practices. The Benjamin Moore premium portfolio spans the brand’s flagship paint lines including Aura®, Regal® Select, Ultra Spec®ben®, ADVANCE®, ARBORCOAT® and more. The Benjamin Moore & Co. diversified brands include specialty and architectural paints from Coronado®, Insl-x® and Lenmar®. Benjamin Moore & Co. coatings are available from its more than 7,500 locally owned and operated paint, decorating and hardware retailers throughout the United States and Canada as well as 75 countries globally.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. savingplaces.org | @savingplaces

Madam Walker House illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

The call to action by American citizens during this year has made us all rethink how we view American history. Protestors have demanded the nation target injustice and fix the systems that promote the unequal treatment of African Americans. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund was founded at a similar time of crisis, after the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the creation of a national preservation campaign meant to uplift and honor the Black American experience.

 “The AACHAF was created out of the recognition that we in the field of preservation needed to do more,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. “We realized that the American story we often tell repeatedly negates the transformative contributions of African Americans, whose capability, intellect, and creativity were and still are invaluable to the building of this nation. The Trust decided then and there to create the Action Fund as a way to help fill in those gaps. We realized that preservation of historic sites, where African Americans changed the American landscape, could be one way our nation comes to understand the need to create a more fair and just society. We saw a more inclusive approach to historic preservation as one step on the long road to heal the divisions between us.”

Through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the Trust is investing more than $1.6 million in grants to 27 sites and organizations across 22 states and the District of Columbia. Thanks to our partnership and a generous grant provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are funding communities to protect, restore, and interpret African American historic sites and uncover hidden narratives of the African American contribution to the American story. 

“The Action Fund plays a crucial role in elevating Black voices and stories in our national dialogue about arts and culture, and in expanding our collective knowledge and understanding of African-American history,” remarked Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. “We are thrilled that the 2020 Action Fund grants will continue to provide transformative support to Black cultural organizations and heritage sites throughout the country.

Leggs underscored the importance of this work, noting, “The recipients of this funding exemplify centuries of African American resilience, activism, and achievement, some known and some yet untold, which tell the complex story of American history in the United States.  Over the past two years, the Action Fund has funded 65 historic African American places and invested more than $4.3 million to help preserve landscapes and buildings imbued with Black cultural heritage. With urgency and intention, the nation must value the link between architecture and racial justice and should fund these and other cultural assets to ensure their protection and preservation.”  

Grants are given across four categories: capacity building, project planning, capital, and programming and interpretation. The list of all 27 grantees and a short blurb about each is attached.  A link to a fuller web version of the list can be accessed HERE.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American resilience, activism, and achievement. 

For 70 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has led the movement to save America’s historic places. A privately funded nonprofit organization, we work to save America’s historic sites, tell the full American story, build stronger communities, and invest in preserving the future.

Follow The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Paul Edmonson on the Death of George Floyd

Statement from National Trust President Paul Edmondson On Death of George Floyd and the Aftermath

“Like so many others, I have been profoundly dismayed and deeply saddened at what is happening in our country. George Floyd’s horrific and inexcusable death in Minneapolis; the shooting of peaceful protestors in Louisville; the fomenting of violence; destructive outbreaks in cities across the country; and the politicization of what should have been a compassionate response by leaders in our society: I would like to think that America is better than this. It is evident, however, that we have a long way to go to ensure that justice and equity are applied to all Americans.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has made a commitment as an institution to ensure that our own work reflects the equal value of every single American in our history and in our culture. A major reflection of that commitment is the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund , created by the National Trust in response to the tragic events in Charlottesville in August of 2017.

We believe that historic preservation can play a critical role in acknowledging and healing the divisions in our nation, by telling the full story of our often-difficult history, by elevating and preserving the enormous and important contributions African Americans have made to our nation, and by carrying that powerful legacy forward through places of truth and reconciliation. We also believe that recognizing the dedication of communities of color to the American experiment through the places we work to save—from Rosenwald schools to the home of Madame C.J. Walker—will help to inspire innovation, investment, and faith in our democracy.

Each of us, in our own communities, businesses, and institutions at all levels, must commit to do all we can to create constructive spaces where justice and peace can flourish—including in those places that reflect our history as Americans. If we are successful, we will find our way to a more unified society, where outbreaks of pain and outrage will become only a thing of the past. We have much work to do in this country to acknowledge and shift a legacy begun hundreds of years ago, but I firmly believe we can find a way to healing and peace by respecting the humanity of every person, and by making that evident in the very fabric of our communities.”