Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network
the U.S. Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 1966, sites associated with Georgia's African American
heritage were listed in the National Register of Historic Places through the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). Such
places as the Camilla-Zach Community Center Historic District in Hancock County, the Atlanta University Center, the Laurel Grove–South Cemetery in Savannah, the Morton Building and Theatre in Athens, and the Nicholsonville Baptist Church in Chatham County were included in these listings, and federal preservation grants assisted the rehabilitation of some properties.
the next decade, partly because the environmental review required by the NHPA brought several places to the attention of the
SHPO, interest in preserving African American historical sites increased. Volunteers around the state began to cultivate partnerships
with the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and with corporations and nonprofit
organizations. In 1982 the partnership hosted a national conference on minority preservation, and with the support of Elizabeth
A. Lyon, who was then the state historic preservation officer, the nucleus of a statewide movement evolved. Today this volunteer
organization is known as the Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network (GAAHPN).
the support of HPD, the Georgia Power Company, and the Georgia Humanities Council, GAAHPN developed a poster series, a videotape, and a heritage tourism brochure highlighting African American resources in Georgia. A guide, incorporating case studies of successful preservation
projects, was developed to provide a contextual study of African American history in Georgia. Internship programs were implemented
by HPD to support these initiatives, which were recognized during Black History Month at the state capitol. In 1994 the work of both the SHPO and GAAHPN was recognized with an Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 2000 a milestone was achieved when a full-time position for African American programs was approved by the Georgia legislature. With staff support, the GAAHPN Steering Committee developed
a strategy to encourage African American preservation initiatives, provide technical assistance, and increase membership in
GAAHPN. They developed the concept for Reflections, a quarterly publication celebrating African American contributions to Georgia's heritage. The publication provides historic
preservation information and technical services available through HPD and other organizations. Each issue features built resources
listed in the Georgia and National Registers of Historic Places and significant resources associated with African American
heritage. Through Reflections, GAAHPN highlights collaborations with the local, state, regional, and national partners who are critical components in successful
is an advocate for partnerships that incorporate diversity. In 2002 GAAHPN members recruited participants for "Your Town:
Citizens' Institute on Rural Design," a National Trust for Historic Preservation program that offers workshops for rural preservationists
each year in cities around the country. The 2002 "Your Town" workshop, cosponsored by the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design, was held in Plains. GAAHPN also supported the National Park Service's special resource study of the Gullah/Geechee culture in southeastern coastal regions.
GAAHPN collaborates with a number of regional initiatives to provide technical assistance to African American
preservationists. The network is a member of the Southeast Regional African American Preservation Alliance, a consortium of
southern organizations, and hosted the alliance's 2001 regional conference in Augusta. GAAHPN also collaborates with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Georgia Civil War Commission.
GAAHPN continues to celebrate African American heritage in Georgia, with the hope that all Georgia communities will embrace
diversity as a unique opportunity to enhance heritage tourism and historic preservation.
Edward J. Cashin, Old Springfield: Race and Religion in Augusta, Georgia (Augusta, Ga.: Springfield Village Park Foundation, 1995).
Donald L. Grant, The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia (Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing, 1993).
Carole Griffith, ed., African-American Historic Places and Culture: A Preservation Resource Guide for Georgia (Atlanta: Minority Historic Preservation Committee, Office of Historic Preservation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources,
William S. McFeely, Sapelo's People: A Long Walk into Freedom (New York: Norton, 1994).
Carole Merritt, The Herndons: An Atlanta Family (Athens: University of Georgia Press 2002).
Carole Merritt, Historic Black Resources: A Handbook for the Identification, Documentation, and Evaluation of Historic African-American Properties
in Georgia (Atlanta: Historic Preservation Section, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1984).
Beth Savage, ed., African American Historic Places (Washington, D.C.: Preservation, 1994).
Jeanne Cyriaque, Historic Preservation Division, GA DNR