Peters, Stabenow Applaud National Parks Service Investment to Preserve Michigan Civil Rights History

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today applauded the announcement of funding for two Michigan projects that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories of the Civil Rights Movement in Michigan. The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office will receive a $49,500 grant to conduct a survey of Detroit’s African American Civil Rights History from 1900 to 1970, and Hamtramck Stadium will receive $50,000 to fund park pre-development to rehabilitate the historic site. The funding comes from the National Park Service (NPS) African American Civil Rights Grant Program and the Historic Preservation Fund.

“The American Civil Rights Movement was built on a foundation of community action that showed the world the importance of the values of tolerance, equality and justice for all people,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased these awards will provide our state with new resources to preserve the rich history of activism and the vital role Michiganders have played in the fight for equal rights. These projects will help tell the stories of the people who endeavored to bring our country together during this important chapter in American history.”

“Michigan has been on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Senator Stabenow. "Preserving these landmark sites will help ensure that future generations learn from our past so they can have a positive impact on our continuing struggles for equality and justice.

The historic Hamtramck Stadium is one of only five remaining Negro League ballparks. The grandstand and field are in Veterans Memorial Park on the south side of Hamtramck. In 2012 the stadium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The $50,000 grant provided to the City of Hamtramck will go towards pre-development work that will include detailed conditions assessment, construction estimate, architectural plans and specifications. The long-term end goal of the rehabilitation is to re-open this Civil Rights landmark as a multi-purpose facility for public use and enjoyment.

The survey of Detroit’s African American Civil Rights History will seek to identify, document and preserve lesser known stories and sites that played a role in Detroit’s Civil Rights history. The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The two Michigan projects were selected along with 37 projects in 20 states to conduct research and preserve records and historic sites that are associated with the Civil Right Movement and the African-American experience in the United States.