Sites associated with Black history in five Southern states will each receive grants of $50,000 from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal advocacy group based in Alabama, the organization said Tuesday.
Officials with the nonprofit law center said the recipients were selected in consultation with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to assist with current and future programming. Grants were awarded to:
— The “Mothers of Gynecology” monument in Montgomery, which recognizes enslaved women who were the subject of medical experiments by Dr. J. Marion Sims, a white, 19th century physician credited as a key founder of modern gynecology.
— The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts in Eatonville, Florida, named for the Black author and anthropologist who depicted African American life in the South in the early 1900s.
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— The Thiokol Memorial Project, Inc., which recalls and honors the 29 people who were killed and 50 others who were hurt when a rocket motor factory exploded and burned in Woodbine, Georgia, on Feb. 3, 1971.
— The Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Museum in Belzoni, Mississippi, named for a leading activist of the era.
— The Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum, located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and the state's only museum dedicated to the struggle for equal rights.
Tafeni L. English, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's civil rights memorial center, told a briefing that museums contribute to a more enlightened and empathetic society.
“As communities of all sizes around the globe confront racism, discrimination and oppression, the commitment of museums, to tell the stories of their communities, in addition to the commitment to diversity equity accessibility and inclusion, has never been more important than it is today,” she said.