Statement | Washington, DC | May 8, 2018

National Trust: Expansion of Reconstruction Era National Monument Will More Fully Tell an Overlooked Chapter of Our American Story

Statement by Stephanie K. Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act (H.R. 5532), introduced recently by Congressman James Clyburn (SC-6th), would re-designate and expand the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and establish the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. The national monument was created by President Barack Obama in 2017 using the presidential authority granted under the Antiquities Act. The following is a statement from Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“From Penn School to the Brick Baptist Church to Camp Saxon, the historic sites that comprise the Reconstruction Era National Monument illuminate the critical period after the Civil War when formerly enslaved African-Americans at last became full and free citizens. However, they alone cannot do full justice to the story of hope, opportunity, and struggle embodied by Reconstruction. Other nationally-significant sites outside the current monument boundaries have the power to further illuminate this vital period. By expanding the monument boundaries and creating the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, Congress can elevate this too-often overlooked chapter of history.”

About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. savingplaces.org/actionfund

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
SavingPlaces.org | @savingplaces

Join the movement to save and sustain historic African American places. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will help every American see themselves, their history, and their potential in our collective story and national cultural landscape.

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