$50,000 grant awarded to protect Black burial sites in Charleston – Live 5 News WCSC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The Preservation Society of Charleston and Anson Street African Burial Ground Project are partnering up to identify and document Black burial sites in the city of Charleston.
The National Park Service has awarded the project $50,000 through the African American Civil Rights grant program.
President and CEO of the Preservation Society of Charleston Brian Turner says this project is special because federal preservation has disfavored cemeteries as protected places.
“We made the case that cemeteries have connection to civil rights history of these. These people are often forgotten. And the Park Service agreed with us that this was a worthy project to fund, Trent said. I think largely because they’re struggling with this not just in Charleston. This is a national issue right now in terms of protections afforded these places”.
The goal of this project is to provide city officials with a map of burial grounds so these sites can be better protected from development impacts.
The project will begin by inviting descendants and residents to attend listening sessions to learn more about the project and share information about burial grounds that are important to their families and neighborhoods.
Once the mapping is done it will be shared with the City of Charleston Planning Department to inform future planning and land use decisions.
The money will go toward marking, restoring, or replacing headstones.
These are the session dates:
Monday, August 14, 6:30 P.M., Johns and James Islands Baxter-Patrick James Island Library, 1858 S Grimball Road.
Tuesday, August 29, 6:30 P.M., Cainhoy and Daniel Island Keith School Museum, 1509 Clements Ferry Road.
Saturday, September 9, 10:30 A.M., Charleston Peninsula and West Ashley Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St.
Each session will include a presentation by project team members and interactive stations where participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge of local burial sites and ask questions.
“We looked around and realized that there really aren’t protections in place for these sites that offer important respite to people throughout the community. They’re the place where their families last resting place, their family, their sacred sites, but they don’t have to protect since they deserve, Turner said. And so, we’re really setting out in a process where we’re engaging with the community to understand the best way that these sites can be stored for future.”
Officials say they expect the mapping process to be done in a year.
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