Black history sites in 5 southern states will receive grants

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Sites associated with black history in five Southern states will each receive $50,000 grants from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based liberal advocacy group, the organization announced Tuesday.

Officials at the nonprofit legal center said the recipients were selected in consultation with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to help with current and future programming. Grants have been awarded to:

— The “Mothers of Gynecology” monument in Montgomery, which honors enslaved women who were the subject of medical experiments by Dr. J. Marion Sims, a 19th-century white physician considered one of the main founders of modern gynecology.

— The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts in Eatonville, Florida, named after the black author and anthropologist who portrayed African-American life in the South in the early 1900s.

— The Thiokol Memorial Project, Inc., which remembers and honors the 29 people killed and 50 others injured when a rocket engine factory exploded and burned in Woodbine, Georgia on February 3, 1971.

– The Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Museum in Belzoni, Mississippi, named after a prominent activist of the day.

— The Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum, located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and the only museum in the state dedicated to the struggle for equal rights.

Tafeni L. English, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Memorial Civil Rights Center, told a briefing that museums contribute to a more enlightened and empathetic society.

“As communities of all sizes around the world face racism, discrimination and oppression, the commitment of museums to telling the stories of their communities, in addition to the commitment to diversity, l equity, accessibility and inclusion, has never been more important than it is today,” she said.

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