$500,000 Federal Grant Awarded to Former “Americus Colored Hospital”Historians in the News
tags: Jim Crow, historic preservation, segregation, African American history, Georgia, medical history
The novel coronavirus has ravaged southwest Georgia, particularly in African American communities where health disparities and poor access to healthcare have persisted for generations.
Now, one of the few hospitals in Georgia that cared for black patients decades ago during the era of legal segregation will receive a nearly $500,000 federal preservation grant to keep alive the history of that work. The National Park Service and Historic Preservation Fund awarded the grant to an Americus preservation group to create a new civil rights museum in the hospital’s original building.
The award follows an earlier one given in November, when the Americus-Sumter County Movement Remembered Committee received an initial $500,000 grant from the park service to begin restoration of the building. The April grant brings the total to just under $1 million. The museum, which does not yet have an opening date, will tell the story of African Americans in southwest Georgia from the time the “Americus, Georgia Colored Hospital,” was built in 1923 up to the civil rights movement.
[Medical] disparities are among the issues civil rights leaders such as Sam Mahone addressed as the equal justice movement blossomed in Americus and across southwest Georgia in the 1960s. It was during that time that the decommissioned “colored” hospital, became a hub and meeting place for civil rights workers in the city.
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