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Kentucky African American Heritage Commission funds grants for the first time in 14 years

The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland
Ohio Valley ReSource

The Kentucky African American Heritage Commission is now able to fund efforts to preserve historical contributions of Black Kentuckians. This is the first time in 14 years they have had grant funding available. The commission is meeting Wednesday to review the first six applications expected to receive the money.

Alicestyne Turley is Chair of the commission’s Budget Committee. She said the grants are small, totaling just around $35,000.

“But we try to pick programs that we think we would have an impact on, like the database and other things that have far-reaching, long-lasting consequences for African Americans here in Kentucky,” said Turley.

One of those far-reaching programs is the Kentucky Antebellum Black Citizen’s Database. This will allow people to search historical military records. Turley said about 25,000 Kentuckians fought in the Civil War.

“By funding this database, you will get a big majority of those United States colored troops who came from Kentucky. And then you four times that, assuming the wife and children, that there will be a lot of folks who can find their ancestors in this database,” said Turley.

Also expected to receive funding are two Black churches, a documentary about Cherokee Park in Marshall County, a celebration program for inventor Garrett Morgan in Paris and upgrades to a research room for the Boyle County African American Historical Society.

The projects are expected to be completed no later than May 1, 2023.

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Samantha was a reporter and All Things Considered Host from 2019 to 2023. Sam is also a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station.
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