Two Mississippi Projects Receive NPS Civil Rights Grants

Two Mississippi projects, one in the Delta and one in Natchez, received awards totaling $550,00 from the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, the National Park Service announced yesterday. This was from a grant pool of $7.75 million, and a total of 39 awarded projects.

Here is the Facebook announcement, featuring a historic photo of the Sumner Courthouse.

And here’s a description of the program and the two Mississippi projects from the NPS website.

The National Park Service’s (NPS) FY 2016 African American Civil Rights Grant Program (Civil Rights Grants) will document, interpret, and preserve the sites and stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens in the 20th Century. The NPS’ 2008 report, Civil Rights in America, A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites will serve as the foundation reference document for the grant program and for grant applicants to use in determining the appropriateness of proposed projects and properties.  Parts 3 through 6 (pages 10-24) describe the appropriate time periods and events that are the focus of this grant funding.

The Civil Rights Grant awards are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and administered by the NPS.  This competitive grant program provides grants to states, tribes, local governments (including Certified Local Governments), and nonprofits. Non-federal matching share is not required, but preference will be given to applications that show community commitment through non-federal match and partnership collaboration.  Grants will fund a broad range of planning, development, and research projects for historic sites including: survey, inventory, documentation, interpretation, education, architectural services, historic structure reports, preservation plans, and “bricks and mortar” repair.

Funded Projects in 2016


Tallahatchie County Courthouse, Sumner

Tallahatchie County Courthouse, Sumner

Emmett Till Memorial Commission of Tallahatchie County Inc – $500,000

Restoration of Tallahatchie Co. Courthouse

The Tallahatchie County Courthouse is the site of the Emmett Till murder trial. Till was a 14 year old lynching victim who was kidnapped, beaten, killed, and thrown into a river by two white men. At the trial, an all-white, all-male jury acquitted them. They later confessed in an article for Look magazine. Grant funds will restore the courthouse to its appearance from the trial in 1955, including ceiling and electrical work.

Mississippi Historic Natchez Foundation – $50,000

Research, Interpret, and Preserve the Civil Rights History of Natchez and Adams County

The Historic Natchez Foundation will use grant funds to survey Adams County for sites associated with the Civil Rights movement. The survey will then be used to prepare a National Register nomination as well as a Civil Rights Trail. While Natchez has a long African American history, only one district is listed on the National Register for its association with Civil Rights.

Read more . . . 

For previous stories about Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner . . .

Walthall County Training School. Tylertown vicinity

Walthall County Training School. Tylertown vicinity

Another grant of note for Mississippians is the $50,000 grant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

District of Columbia

National Trust for Historic Preservation in the U.S. – $50,000

Enhancing Understanding of Rosenwald Schools through Web GIS and Story Maps

The National Trust will use grant funds to create the Rosenwald Schools Mapping Project. Rosenwald schools were funded by Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears Roebuck and Company, and were created specifically for the purpose of African American schools. This project will aggregate data into one database on Rosenwald Schools across the country, standardize survey data, and create story maps to interpret these sites for the public.

Mississippi had the second-highest number of Rosenwald schools built, around 550, so hopefully this project will help highlight the surviving schools and in turn help alumni groups and other interested parties in their efforts to save these important places.

For more about Rosenwald schools . . .

Categories: African American History, Civil Rights, Courthouses, Grants, Schools


1 reply

  1. More good news for the week! That is quite a list on the NPS site.


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