North Carolina Historic Preservation Office Receives African American Civil Rights Grant


The North Carolina Historic Preservation Office has received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) funded through the Historic Preservation Fund African American Civil Rights grant program to study and document locations associated with the Civil Rights movement in northeastern North Carolina.

The region is rich in African American history and the struggle of the Civil Rights era in the area is a little-told story. Activist Golden Frinks lived in Edenton and sparked many protests, demonstrations, and other activities pushing for the rights of men, women, and children across these and other counties. Frinks’ home in Edenton was purchased by the State of North Carolina and will be made into a museum that reflects on the Civil Rights movement, Frinks’ role, and the work of countless others whose stories we hope to uncover. 

The project goal is to identify places associated with Civil Rights activities in 18 counties in the northeast. Places where organizing, planning, picketing and protests took place will then be mapped. This two-year-long project will collect oral histories from veterans of the Civil Rights movement. These stories will become part of the collected oral histories at the North Carolina State Archives. This project will serve as the foundation for a second phase of work, during which the State Historic Preservation Office will undertake architectural survey work to add buildings and sites to our state’s architectural record. 

Across North Carolina from 1941-76, thousands of Civil Rights protests and other actions occurred in large and small communities. In many instances, white-owned newspapers did not cover these activities, or relegated them to small notes on pages. As a result, oral history is often the best and, in some cases, only record of Civil Rights events. This grant will help collect some of this quickly vanishing history. 

For more information about the project, please contact Sarah Woodard David, Branch Supervisor for the National Register and Survey Branch of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office at or 919-814-6573. For questions regarding the African American Civil Rights grant program, or to comment on this or any other proposed Historic Preservation Fund grant project, please contact the State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division, National Park Service, at 202-354-2020 or

About the State Historic Preservation Office 
In North Carolina, the State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) is an agency of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Dr. Kevin Cherry, the department's Deputy Secretary of Archives and History, is North Carolina's State Historic Preservation Officer. The HPO carries out state and federal preservation programs that assist private citizens, non-profit institutions, local governments, and agencies of state and federal government in the identification, evaluation, protection, and enhancement of properties significant in North Carolina’s history and archaeology. The HPO oversees the statewide architectural survey; administers the National Register of Historic Places for North Carolina properties; conducts environmental review of state and federal actions affecting historic and archaeological properties; provides technical assistance to owners in the restoration of historic properties, including those owners seeking state and federal rehabilitation income tax credits; provides grant assistance for historic preservation projects; provides technical assistance to local preservation commissions; and provides historic preservation education, including publication of preservation plan updates and the HPO newsletter, Worth Saving (