Preserve or let go: Blacks debate fate of their landmarks





TURIN, GA. - Its clapboards broken and its roof collapsed, the old "Negro school" had come to the brink of its life. But as renovations on the schoolhouse began recently ˆ a bid to safeguard and honor this tiny railroad town's black history ˆ the project ran into opposition from a surprising source: its former students.

"There's a lot of people who don't want to be involved" because of what the school symbolizes ˆ racial segregation, says Alonzo Penson, who attended the school back in the 1940s. "Black people have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go."

A nascent movement in the South and elsewhere to save what's left of African-American landmarks ˆ old cabins, juke joints, and schoolhouses ˆ is laboring to overcome a host of obstacles, not least of which is deep ambivalence among blacks themselves about preserving places associated with black oppression or discrimination.



comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list