Ossabaw Island Foundation Receives “Interpreting America’s Historic Places” Grant
“Continuity and Change” in Ossabaw Island’s African American community is the focus of a $40,000 grant awarded to The Ossabaw Island Foundation by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Awarded in early 2010, the one-year-long planning grant brings together a team of nationally renowned experts in American history, Gullah history and culture, historic and natural site interpretation, archeology, oral history research, archival research and museum studies.
The team members are conducting original research and reviewing existing research on African American families that lived and worked on Ossabaw Island from the 1700’s through 1900, as enslaved people and freedmen. From this effort, the Ossabaw Island Foundation is developing a plan to share with the public the untold stories of these people, through on site information, expanded interpretation with existing and new groups of visitors, and via the internet.
“This is an opportunity to share with the public concrete examples of African Americans as agents in the dynamic creation and perpetuation of their culture,” writes Dr. Deborah Mack, a nationally acclaimed anthropologist and expert on museum studies and African American history, who is co-chairing the grant project with Dr. Paul Pressly of the Ossabaw Island Education Alliance. “Their legacy lives on today, in contemporary families, communities, churches and civic institutions that originated, in whole or in part, on Ossabaw Island.”
Project team members include two recipients of the Bancroft Prize, the highest award for writing on American History (Jaqueline Jones for Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow, and Erskine Clarke for Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic.) Team members hail from across the region and the nation (University of Texas, The Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston, Drayton Hall in Charleston, Penn Center at St. Helena Island) as well as from coastal Georgia (Pin Point Community, the Owens Thomas House and the Coastal Heritage Society).
The planning grant will wrap up in early 2011, and grant funding is being sought to implement the project beginning later that year. For more information contact Paul Pressly, (912) 651-2440, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Interpreting America’s Historic Places” Grant