Highland Beach, founded by descendants of Frederick Douglas. Credit highlandbeachmd.org.

Two Maryland Research Projects awarded African American Civil Rights Grant

By Meagan Baco

The National Park Service recently announced the distribution of African American Civil Rights grants that includes two Maryland projects; surveying African American community spaces in Anne Arundel County and collecting oral histories related to Lillie Carrol Jackson’s Baltimore-based advocacy.

The announcement on January 12, 2017, detailed the award of over $7.5 million dollars to 39 projects in 20 states “that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience.” Evaluation of the grant requests is guided by the National Park Service report, Civil Rights in America, A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites published in 2008.



Highland Beach, founded by descendants of Frederick Douglas. Credit highlandbeachmd.org.

Maryland’s Lost Towns Project, an archaeology organization based in Anne Arundel County, received $48,000 in funding from the African American Civil Rights Grant Program to research community spaces primarily used by African Americans during the Civil Rights era. Titled Beaches and Ballfields: Contested Recreational Spaces and the Struggle for Civil Rights, the survey and inventory of recreational and leisure areas may result in oral histories and GIS-based story maps informed by archival research.


Lillie Carroll Jackson accepts an NAACP award. Photo credit Baltimore National Heritage Area.

The historically African American college of Morgan State University will lead the effort to better understand and protect the Baltimore City home of Lillie Carrol Jackson – was a prominent Civil Rights activist and 35-year president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP. The project funded at $49,828 by the African American Civil Rights Grant Program will begin with the collection of oral histories and may result in the preparation of a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the home at 1320 Eutaw Place.


Funding for the African American Civil Rights Grants program comes from the Historic Preservation Fund, a federally legislated resource to preserve the country’s historic places. The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), created in 1976, was reauthorized for 7 years in 2016 – yet the Fund requires annual appropriation. As the major governmental funding source for historic preservation in America, preservationists from across the country advocate for HPF funding each Spring at National Historic Preservation Advocacy Day.

Meagan Baco · Director of Communications

Meagan Baco shares the stories of the Old Line State’s important history and unique places – and the people working to preserve it, through Preservation Maryland’s website and publications.

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