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‘Georgia’s Full Story’ project to identify Black heritage sites, stories statewide

The Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announces a new project to support the identification and documentation of Black heritage sites statewide.

Georgia’s Full Story will identify places and uncover stories associated with Black heritage not recognized in past historic preservation efforts. The final product will be an updated resource guide that will facilitate more nominations of Black heritage to the National Register of Historic Places in Georgia.

The year-long project is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service. It was awarded to the Savannah-based consulting firm, Ethos Preservation. Contributions are requested from the public utilizing a new online portal.

Through careful research and contributions from the public, Georgia’s Full Story will provide guidance and narratives to fill in important gaps in existing historic preservation resources for Black heritage.

A broad history will honor the contributions of Black Georgians from the pre-colonial period to present. Frameworks for the identification of historic resource types and themes related to Black experiences will contextualize properties within Georgia’s broader history as well.

Finally, the report will offer guidance on how to evaluate Black historic resources for nomination to the National Register. The final product will be added to the Historic Preservation Division’s collection of more than a dozen statewide context reports for Georgia’s historic resources.

The Ethos Preservation team will be guided by an advisory committee of professionals from across the state with knowledge of Black historic resources and hands-on experience with the preservation of Black heritage.

“The Black experience in Georgia is a foundational part of Georgia's history as a whole, and yet so many of the buildings, structures, objects, and sites associated with the Black experience have previously been overlooked as resources of historic significance,” Jennifer Dixon, director of the Historic Preservation Division at DCA, said. “Georgia’s Full Story will create an updated statewide African American Context Statement and make it easier to nominate resources to the National Register of Historic Places. It will not only open these resources to this honorific designation, but also to eligibility for grants and financial incentives to support their preservation.”

Like all statewide historic context reports, Georgia’s Full Story will be available publicly for a wide variety of history-and-preservation-focused projects. The resources available in these reports provide individuals and professionals with tools to identify and contextualize the significance of their properties when applying for the National Register of Historic Places.

The project team will connect with people and communities across Georgia via an online tool, thus aiding in efforts to honor the untold stories of Black Georgians. 

This online tool will allow all interested parties to share family and community stories; digital copies of old pictures; newspaper articles; or photos of buildings, sites, or artifacts that speak to Black experiences in Georgia.

The website is open to the public and people are encouraged to upload their stories. The project team is hoping for widespread participation from communities and individuals to ensure many stories are told.

“Acknowledging that past efforts have not always been inclusive, we are requesting the public share their stories, lived experiences and knowledge of Black historic sites to ensure we are capturing Georgia’s full story” Briana Paxton, with Ethos Preservation, said. “It is paramount to Georgia’s future that we recognize and facilitate the preservation of Black heritage for the next generation.”

Visit to learn more about the project and how to contribute.