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Monroe School, Three well-dressed African American women (Linda Brown, Leola Montgomery, and Cheryl Brown Henderson) with serious faces standing in front of Monroe School in winter in Topeka, KS. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, 1993, KS, Monroe School,Shawnee, Topeka, Monroe School, Historic Building | Urban Environment, Phil Schermeister
Phil Schirmeister

12 parks honoring Black history

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For decades, we’ve preserved places that help tell the story of Black life in America—reminders of the lessons our history has to offer, and a connection to our nation’s shared heritage.

Take Pullman National Monument on Chicago’s South Side. Its neat brick homes and warehouses date to the 1880s, when the Pullman District sprang up as the company town and headquarters of a major rail-car manufacturer. Today, the monument honors the courage and tenacity of labor leaders who strove for equal representation and safe working conditions for African American workers.

Black and white portrait of a Pullman Porter in uniformPullman porters who ensured that passengers traveled in comfort and safety. In the 1920s, these porters formed the nation’s first black labor organization, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.Photo credit: Jack Delano/Library of Congress

In addition to building railway cars, the Pullman Company also employed porters—the majority of them African American—who ensured that passengers traveled in comfort and safety. In the 1920s, these porters formed the nation’s first Black labor organization, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. For the next decade, its leaders fought both the company's management and the nation's all-white labor leadership for a seat at the bargaining table. The collective bargaining agreement it finally signed with the Pullman Company in 1937 was the first ever negotiated by a black union.

You won’t find the porters’ story in most history textbooks, but you’ll find it at Pullman National Monument. It’s just one of the places honoring Black history your support has helped preserve.

Learn more in the slideshow:

 

 

Few things bring the events of the past to life so much as standing in the spot where they happened. Is there a place in your community that tells a part of the American story? Tell us about it! Join us on Facebook or leave us a comment. 

Comments

Virginia Collins
Thank you very much for bringing this part of OUR history to me and others! I am still mad that we were not allowed to learn more when I was in school, during the 50"s, 60"s, 70"s, and 80"s. It helps to know that ALL Americans are being remembered for their "actual" history, rather than what the schools wanted us to know about all those years. Again, thank you!!!
Nina
Black History Month gives me profound hope in courage and perseverance. I feel so proud of the people behind the story and am thankful that Black History Month has opened up so much more history for all of us to learn the names and faces of our ancestors. They are not any different than current activists who take part in Black Lives Matter or those who show up to protest the travel ban on Muslims. I hope we all take courage and hope from these inspiring stories, but we all must not fall back on our heels. We must fight against economic deprivation and disenfranchisement.
Barbara Ellmaker
I'm standing with you
Tom Reeve
Another piece of Black History that The Trust for Public Land helped preserve was the the home of Colonel Charles Young, now Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument. https://www.tpl.org/buffalo-soldier
Laura D’Alisera
I’m so proud of the Mandarin Historical Society which led to the preservation of one of the few remaining schoolhouses dedicated to teaching the children of freed slaves after the Civil War. It’s located in the municipally owned Walter Jones Park and curated by Mandarin Historic Society, Jacksonville FL.

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