$16.2 Million Awarded To Help Preserve African American Civil Rights History

Ongoing restoration of Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ, former recipient of an African American Civil Rights Grant; Hinchliffe Stadium is the only historic stadium within a national park./NPS, Stephanie Roulett

More than $16 million in grants has been awarded to help preserve sites associated with the African American Civil Rights movement in the United States.

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams announced the awards during a stop in Paterson, New Jersey, to visit to Hinchliffe Stadium, a National Historic Landmark that is one of the few surviving Negro League baseball stadiums. That stadium, located within Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, received a grant in 2018.

“The New York Black Yankees regularly used the Hinchliffe Stadium from 1933-1937 and 1939-1945,” according to the stadium’s history. “The stadium hosted the 1933 Colored Championship of the Nation (the Negro leagues equivalent of the World Series). The home team, the New York Black Yankees, lost to the Philadelphia Stars.”

This years’ awards will benefit 44 projects in 15 states and support the continued preservation of sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality, a National Park Service release said.

“The African American Civil Rights grants are critical to helping preserve and interpret a more comprehensive narrative of the people, places, and events associated with African American Civil Rights movement,” said Sams. “Sites like Hinchliffe Stadium are rare, and they provide a tangible reminder of this complex history. It was exciting to see the ongoing preservation work at a site that bore witness to more than 20 baseball Hall of Famers in its time and has inspired generations to follow in the footsteps of their heroes.”

The African American Civil Rights grants fund a variety of projects from rehabilitation to oral history documentation, in coordination with state, Tribal, local government, and nonprofit partners. The rehabilitation project at Hinchliffe Stadium, was funded in part by this grant program and is expected to reopen to the public later this year. 

This years’ grants will support the preservation of the Masjid al-Ansar in Miami, the first mosque in Florida, which records the story of how Black Muslims were instrumental in the civil rights campaigns in the Deep South; the Schooner Clotilda in Mobile, Alabama, the last known ship to import enslaved Africans to the United States; and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, funds will help tell the rich stories of the African American struggle for equality through oral histories of Selma’s foot soldiers and those with personal and family connections to Greenwood Avenue or “Black Wall Street.” 

This year’s grantees can be found on this site.

Applications for $21.7 million in FY2022 funding will be available in late summer 2022. Learn more about the African American Civil Rights grant program, and how to apply for future grants on NPS.gov.  

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