Africatown Heritage Preservation Foundation has received $50,000 in grant funding.
National Park Service – Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program: Inspiring Collaboration in Our Neighborhoods
The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) extends and expands the benefits of the National Park Service to communities throughout the nation. Since 2016, RTCA has proudly served the community of Africatown and surrounding communities by assisting with the development of the Africatown Connections Blueway.
This past November 30-December 1, the Rock Ethics Institute at the Pennsylvania State University hosted a grant writing conference for Africatown. Members of the MCTS and Mobile County school board, the MCTSAA, and faculty and students from Penn State, Michigan State University, and Oberlin College attended. The Rock Ethics Institute supports engaged research to address society’s ethical challenges, including work on environmental and restorative justice.
About seven years ago, Sian Hunter, at the time an editor at the University of North Carolina Press and now the Senior Acquisitions Editor at the University Press of Florida, heard a presentation that one of us gave on black reparations and urged us to write a book on the topic. In 2008, we jointly had written an op-ed for The Root called “The Big Payback,” which helped give us the confidence we needed to pursue and successfully bring such a project to completion.
My colleague Chuo Li and I first heard these words when our urban design studio class from Mississippi State University visited Africatown last March. The class was invited by Anderson, Joe Womack, Mississippi NPS Field Office Director Liz Smith-Incer, and others, to come visit the town and to hear its story. We met in the Whippet’s Den of the Training School, with its walls surrounded by the artifacts and memories of those who lived there, went to school there, and played there.
In March 2018, the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), in coordination with the National Park Service (NPS), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, (NMAAHC), Slave Wrecks Project (SWP), and SEARCH, completed the investigation of the shipwreck remains discovered in January 2018 in Baldwin County, Alabama, referred to as the Twelve Mile Island Wreck.