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Jefferson School African American Heritage Center receives 109K Grant

The Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center in Charlottesville.
The Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center in Charlottesville.(WVIR)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 4:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is working to create the region’s first African-American land repository. The project is being made possible thanks to a $109,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“An IMLS grant is not an easy grant to get, and to be able to get one on your first try means is a really important thing,” said Dr. Andrea Douglas, who is the Director of the Jefferson School African American Center.

The funds will be used to advance the knowledge of Black history in Charlottesville.

“We mapped all of almost 400,000 pages of property deeds and identify which deeds held racial covenants, and usually those covenants said that a property if purchased could not be sold to a Black person,” Dr. Douglas aid.

JSAAHC says it will use this info to show how property value enter and leave a “Black economic stream.” Its findings will be displayed in an exhibition.

“So people will come in within the next year or so and be able to actually find their property, an interactive map that we’re putting in,” Dr. Douglas said. “So then you’ll be able to have a quantifiable number about the rise and fall of Black wealth in Charlottesville, and our goal is to use that for policymaking, you know, to provide that information to people who could use it to change the lives of African Americans.”

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