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Grant number like: PY-253022-17

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Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort, KY 40601-1931)
Sara Elliott (Project Director: May 2016 to May 2018)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$12,000 (approved)
$11,063 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 3/31/2018

Integrating Segregated Histories

A day-long digitization event to capture documents and artifacts from two distinctive communities that remain underrepresented in the region’s historical record: the African American and Jewish residents of Hopkinsville and Christian County, Kentucky.  In partnership with the Museums of Hopkinsville, the applicant would also organize a second day-long public event with panel discussions and workshops, providing the opportunity for the project partners to share what they have learned and to engage the communities in preserving, interpreting, and commemorating their memories and stories. The panel discussions would serve to contextualize the digitized materials within broader historical frameworks, and the workshops would offer information about preserving family documents and photographs and conducting oral history interviews.

Rooted in the slave economy of the 19th century, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, has long been racially divided. Despite being a microcosm of race relations in the United States, little information and few artifacts have been collected pertaining to African American residents. In addition, there is little primary source material available about Jewish residents who acted as a bridge between the black and white communities.  "Integrating Segregated Histories," a project between the Kentucky Historical Society and the Museums of Hopkinsville, seeks to remedy this deficiency. Project partners will invite residents to a day-long digitization event to share experiences, archival materials, and artifacts. This project will also open a dialogue about the current state of race relations.  A follow-up event, including panel discussions and workshops, will place the materials—and conversations—into a larger context, showing residents how their path forward is firmly rooted in the past.