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Grant number like: PY-263763-19

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University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD 20742-5141)
Mary Corbin Sies (Project Director: May 2018 to present)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 6/30/2021

Change and Resilience in Lakeland: African Americans in College Park, MD 1950-1980

A day-long digitization event, by-appointment collecting visits to neighbors’ homes, and a public interpretation event to document and explore the history of Lakeland, an African American community in Prince George's County, Maryland.  The proposed project would build upon an existing collaboration between the Lakeland Community Heritage Project (LCHP), which is Lakeland’s volunteer-run historical society, and the American Studies Department and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The project seeks to deepen understanding of the impact of desegregation and urban renewal as experienced by Lakelanders through their own keepsakes and historical documents.  Professor Sies, the project director, is an expert in suburban community studies, and with the LCHP, she co-developed the Lakeland Digital Archive, to which the new materials would be added and made publicly available.

Lakeland (1890) was central among a group of historic African American communities from Prince George’s County, MD. Between 1950-1980, Lakeland experienced upheaval and change, particularly a contentious school desegregation process, urban renewal, and subsequent dispersal of residents. The grant will fund two kinds of collecting activities and a public interpretation event. A daylong event will invite Lakeland residents to bring items from this period to be digitized: images, letters, personal papers, artifacts, scrapbooks, and the like, followed by educational workshops about the importance of and best practices for preserving materials about their heritage. Team members will also visit households with a portable archival kit to digitize and preserve their papers. Later, the team and humanities consultants will present an interpretive program on the newly collected archival materials and moderate a community conversation about the changes Lakeland experienced between 1950-80.