The North Carolina Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) funded through the Historic Preservation Fund African American Civil Rights grant program to study and document locations associated with the Civil Rights movement in northeastern North Carolina.
The region is rich in African American history and the struggle of the Civil Rights era in the area is a little-told story. Activist Golden Frinks lived in Edenton and sparked many protests, demonstrations, and other activities pushing for the rights of men, women, and children across these and other counties. Frinks’ home in Edenton was purchased by the State of North Carolina and will be made into a museum that reflects on the Civil Rights movement, Frinks’ role, and the work of countless others whose stories we hope to uncover.
The project goal is to identify places associated with Civil Rights activities in 18 counties in the northeast. Places where organizing, planning, picketing and protests took place will then be mapped. This two-year-long project will collect oral histories from veterans of the Civil Rights movement. These stories will become part of the collected oral histories at the North Carolina State Archives. This project will serve as the foundation for a second phase of work, during which the State Historic Preservation Office will undertake architectural survey work to add buildings and sites to our state’s architectural record.
Across North Carolina from 1941-76, thousands of Civil Rights protests and other actions occurred in large and small communities. In many instances, white-owned newspapers did not cover these activities, or relegated them to small notes on pages. As a result, oral history is often the best and, in some cases, only record of Civil Rights events. This grant will help collect some of this quickly vanishing history.
In North Carolina, the HPO is an agency of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. For updates, Follow the NC HPO Facebook page.
Source: NC DNCR