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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[FL] Black-history network snags funding

Black-history network snags funding
Organization given $350,000
By TaMaryn Waters
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER

It took two years, but the Florida African-American Heritage Preservation Network recently received funding from the Florida Legislature.

Riley House Museum Director Althemese Barnes took the lead in pursuing money for the network, which was given $350,000. The money will be used to help organize black historical artifacts and landmarks at a grass-roots level throughout the state. It also will fund technical assistants who provide updated Web sites, direct marketing and development.

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The network was created five years ago, and it's been sustained through a team of volunteers. Barnes hopes the new financial boost will help jump-start even more interest for the next generation of researchers, historians and others interested in black history in Florida.

The Riley Museum focuses on highlighting the cultural and educational history of blacks in Tallahassee and the state from the Reconstruction Era through the civil-rights movement. Barnes said it was important for others to get help archiving cultural history in Florida.

"There's a tendency to take more pride in the things they know all about," Barnes said.

She said she was supported in her efforts by several elected officials, including state Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, and Reps. Loranne Ausley and Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee.

"We've been doing this, but it has been a zero-budget out of the Riley House," she said.

Although the money has been approved, Barnes said it's unclear when the money will be distributed.

So far, the network has helped to publish eight black photographic and historical publications, and staffers are currently helping VISIT FLORIDA update the current Florida Black Heritage Trail Magazine. The next issue is slated for this fall.

Contact reporter TaMaryn Waters at (850) 599-2162 or tlwaters@tallahassee.com.

Originally published June 4, 2006


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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