Thirteen Pennsylvania African American Cemeteries Receive Assistance
Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds and Preservation Pennsylvania are pleased to announce grant awards to thirteen African American cemeteries to assist in their ongoing preservation efforts as part of an African American Cemetery Stewardship Program funded by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF) through the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) with support from The JPB Foundation and The 1772 Foundation.
Selected grantees will work with a professional consultant who will help each site to develop a plan to assist the cemetery stewards with prioritizing maintenance, interpretation, and preservation needs. The consultant will also assist with identifying and preparing specifications for priority tasks that address key cemetery needs. All cemeteries will be receiving a direct grant to undertake the most needed preservation or conservation work. Board members of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds will work with cemetery stewards and consultants to create a collaborative effort to ensure the long-term preservation of these important sites.
2023 African American Cemetery Stewardship Program grant recipients
- African Union Church of South Coventry (Chester County)
- Byberry Township African American Burial Ground (Philadelphia County)
- Eastern Light Cemetery (Blair County)
- Green Lawn Cemetery (Delaware County)
- Lincoln Cemetery (Adams County)
- Lincoln Cemetery (Dauphin County)
- Lindley Hill Cemetery (Chester County)
- Mount Vernon Cemetery (Franklin County)
- Payne Chapel AME Church Cemetery (Washington County)
- Thornbury AME Cemetery (Delaware County)
- Union Cemetery (Centre County)
- Zion Hill Cemetery (Lancaster County)
- Zion Union Cemetery (Franklin County)
This funding will support the growth of the African American Cemetery Stewards Network, a program of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds. The network is a great resource for anyone undertaking the preservation and maintenance of these precious places in Pennsylvania. Over one hundred African American cemeteries have been identified in Pennsylvania telling an underrepresented part of our history.
These sites are also the final resting place of Black veterans, including many of the 8,612 Pennsylvania men who served with the United States Colored Troops.
These cemeteries are threatened by underfunding, development, and changing demographics. The grants will provide direct assistance, offer training and technical assistance to the larger community of cemetery stewards, help build public awareness, and identify additional funding to preserve this heritage.
Grant Funding Announcement
Pennsylvania Hallowed Ground in partnership with Preservation Pennsylvania is one of 33 organizations to receive a total of $3 million in grant funding to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscapes that represent African American cultural heritage. With more than $80 million in funding, the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places.
Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds Chair, Barbara Barksdale said, “Pennsylvania’s African American cemeteries are deserving of this assistance from the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds and our partner Preservation Pennsylvania. The hallowed grounds that cradle our ancestors will be preserved for future generations to visit, research, and honor.”
Mindy Gulden Crawford, Executive Director of Preservation Pennsylvania stated, “We are honored that this grant will help us assist African American cemeteries in Pennsylvania and to have Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds as our strong partner,”
[Featured image: 2023 Earth Day clean up crew at Green Lawn Cemetery, Delaware County)
ABOUT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE ACTION FUND FROM THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Now in its fifth year, the Action Fund has supported 160 places through its National Grant Program for a total investment of $12.4 million. Each year’s list of recipients further demonstrates the beauty and complexity of African American life, and includes historic sites tied to Black arts, culture, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, sports, medicine, education, religion, and social justice. These often-overlooked places hold aspects of history that must be protected and used to draw inspiration and wisdom for the benefit of all Americans. To learn more about this program, visit the website.
The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic assets to future generations.
ABOUT PRESERVATION PENNSYLVANIA
Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s only private statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them. Preservation Pennsylvania was established by the Commonwealth’s General Assembly in 1982 as the Preservation Fund of Pennsylvania, a statewide revolving fund to assist in the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic properties. Since then, Preservation Pennsylvania has grown into its role as a private, nonprofit membership organization with a statewide mission to protect and preserve Pennsylvania’s irreplaceable historic places.
The mission of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds is to honor, interpret, and preserve African American cemeteries and the burial sites of Civil War African American Sailors and United States Colored Troops in Pennsylvania. PAHG connects and builds the capacity of stewards of these cemeteries and burial sites, and supports conservation, documentation, education, and training. Working collaboratively with other groups and organizations, PAHG provides tangible encounters with memory and enriches the public understanding of history. For more information contact PAHG@pahallowedgrounds.org