Group grants $1.6M for places that are part of black history

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - More than $1.6 million in grants are going to 22 sites and organizations to help preserve black history.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the grants Friday during the 25th annual Essence Festival in New Orleans.

"The recipients of this funding shine a light on once lived stories and Black culture, some familiar and some yet untold, that weave together the complex story of American history in the United States," said Brent Leggs, executive director of the trust's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

Grants, provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, are given across four categories: capacity building, project planning, capital, and programming and interpretation.

"Beyond saving important African American heritage sites, the Action Fund is helping Americans understand more deeply who we are as a nation," said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. "We applaud the ongoing work of the Action Fund in calling greater attention to the diversity of American history and lifting up narratives that have been too long neglected or forgotten."

This year's recipients include the home of Negro League Baseball star Satchel Paige in Kansas City, Missouri; Langston Hughes House in New York's Harlem neighborhood; the Emmett Till Memorial Commission in Summer, Mississippi; 'The Forum' in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood; the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, New York; The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and the African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School in Boston.

The Action Fund has granted a total of $2.7 million since its launch in November 2017.