Honoring Black History Month: Sharing Key Stories Through Preservation

Across the country many are celebrating Black History Month (BHM) including our office. BHM is an integral part of our nation’s tradition in which we continue to promote positive examples of moving historical events, outstanding leaders and steps towards societal change.

The National Park Service (NPS) is one of the United States' leading agencies for history and culture. In addition to preserving nearly 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures, NPS works beyond those boundaries to ensure that everyone's history is saved and shared.

NPS’ Denver Service Center (DSC) has the honor of contributing to preserving these places that matter through our archeologists, architects, curators, historians, and other professionals that help ensure the protection and preservation of the lands and objects entrusted to our care. In honor of this year’s BHM celebration, we’d like to highlight the following two projects.

Carter G. Woodson Home Rehab Project

The DSC is in the final stages of assisting in the completion of a multi-fund source project of Carter G. Woodson’s Home. Our team assisted in restoring the circa 1870's home. Before Dr. Carter G. Woodson, there was very little accurate written history about the lives and experiences of Americans of African descent. Today a National Historic Site, Dr. Woodson’s home served as the headquarters for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Dr. Woodson established Negro History Week here in 1926, which we celebrate today as Black History Month.

Phase I encompasses the completion of the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site including a restoration of his home and renovation of adjacent historic buildings. Phase II of the project is anticipated to include development, fabrication, and installation of interpretative exhibits; production and distribution of educational and interpretative materials and other site improvement such as parking, way-finding signs, and much more. For more information, visit Carter G. Woodson Home.

Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District Rehab Project

Imagine going back in time to the 1930’s when Martin Luther King Jr. was growing up in Georgia. Thanks to a partnership between the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and NPS, you will no longer need to use your imagination. Nearly the entire block that contains the birth home of the civil rights leader is now in public hands. This block is considered one of the more popular tourist destinations by those visiting Atlanta.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a young boy who grew up in a time of segregation but was destined to play a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950’s until his assassination in 1968. DSC is working to rehabilitate a contributing structure within the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District and it is targeted to receive regional green building certification specifically for historic buildings. For more information go to Martin Luther King Jr.

By preserving history, we create awareness of the struggles and challenges that African Americans overcame in this country. These places serve as an inspiration and a time for reflection, open dialogue, and education. Our stories connect the past and present to the future. Our stories and our learning from them honors and respects our ancestors and us. They can stimulate future generations to their potential.