Credit: Halston Pitman / Nick Woolever / MotorSportMedia for Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Black history project aims to tell 'Georgia's Full Story'
State officials have launched a new project to identify and document Black heritage sites across Georgia.
The effort is aimed at shoring up gaps in existing historic preservation resources and is being led by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Historic Preservation Division.
The agency has dozens of publicly accessible reports that document historic resources.
These reports are used for everything from getting properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places to private grants and development applications.
But the collection hasn’t always been inclusive. So Rebecca Fenwick of Savannah-based Ethos Preservation is working with the agency to collect untold stories in Black history.
“More often than not, Black history is most remembered in family histories that have been passed through generations in historic photographs and personal collections,” Fenwick said. “That’s the resource that we are really hoping to tap.”
The kinds of history that the effort aims to preserve is vast.
Fenwick points to the example of the Springfield School in Union Point, a small log cabin school in rural Toliaferro County which was used to teach Black students in the early 20th century but now needs repair and isn’t listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The former school was listed as one of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's "Places in Peril" in 2022.
“The Black experience in Georgia is a foundational part of Georgia’s history as a whole,” said Jennifer Dixon, director of the Historic Preservation Division. “And yet so many of the buildings, structures, objects and sites associated with the Black experience have previously been overlooked as resources of historic significance.”
Georgians can add their personal, family and community stories at Georgia’s Full Story — georgiasfullstory.com. The online tool allows interested parties to share stories and digital resources.