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Underground History: Preserving African American History

The Hutchinson House on Edisto Island, SC; a rare, intact freedman's home.
CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23813046
The Hutchinson House on Edisto Island, SC; a rare, intact freedman's home.

Our country is festooned with historic sites, statues, notable buildings, and signs like "George Washington slept here." Take a step or two back and you realize how overwhelmingly white this representation of history is.

People of color are underrepresented in historical preservation, partly because many of the places central to their lives have been demolished. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund works to restore some of the lost history.

Envisioned as a social movement for justice, equity, and reconciliation, the Action Fund is promoting the role of cultural preservation in telling the nation’s full history, while also empowering activists, entrepreneurs, artists, and civic leaders to advocate on behalf of African American historic places.

Brent Leggs, Executive Director of the Action Fund, tells the story in this month's edition of Underground History. Our regular partner, Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, returns for the chat.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.