NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Emmett Till Memorial Commission in Sumner is receiving a portion of more than $1.6 million in grants that will go 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 Till commission’s funds will benefit the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, located in the Tallahatchie County Courthouse. The center memorializes Till, a Chicago youth who was lynched in 1955 after whistling at a white woman, and the response by his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, in helping to ignite the civil rights movement. Two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, were acquitted by an all-white jury in Till’s death but later admitted their guilt in a magazine interview.
“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 in 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.
Other 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 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 November 2017.