Welcome to our official website!

We are an alliance of historic places settled by people of African descent in the early establishment of America. 

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Our Projects

Since its inception, HBTSA has been strategic and focused on developing a strategic plan and charting a path that will strengthen its ability to serve as a platform for historic black towns and settlements. In addition, HBTSA is focused on projects that will also strengthen its member base. Below we are sharing a few of our projects including past accomplishments and future endeavors. Please check back often to see what we are up to.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Before the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance was established, we were all scattered and didn’t know much about each other. When we finally joined forces, we all agreed that we love where we live, work, worship and play. The members of our Alliance call different places home, from the South Carolina and the Gullah Geeche lands to the west coast in sunny California. We are deeply connected to these historic places. And when you love a place, you improve it.

 

HERITAGE TRAIL

The HBTSA is engaged in creating a national corridor made up of historic black towns and settlements. This project is part of a strategic plan set forth by the alliance in 2014. To accommodate this massive project that spans many states, we have created a separate website to  keep people engaged and updated.  

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EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS

The HBTSA is committed to providing educational awareness programs to the general public. These programs are important as they help communicate the mission of our members and bring awareness about our towns to the masses. The educational projects change periodically. Stay tuned for updates. 

PAST PROJECTS

When the thought of starting an alliance of historic black towns and settlements was conceived, then Tuskegee Mayor, Johnny Ford was building relationships with other leaders from historic black towns across America. Upon a gathering of the leaders, they decided to set some goals and collectively build a deeper relationship with one another. First founding a nonprofit organization and then inviting other towns to be a part of the effort. Since then, the group has made many strides including the development of a strategic plan. Check out some other accomplishments the group has been engaged in.

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HBTSA RECEIVES INNOVATION GRANT

Thanks to a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, HBTSA members received individual and collective conulting from a team of consultants. The consultants reviewed and gave feedback regarding each towns archival collections, potential for cultural tourism and vernacular environment. Plans included hosting a convening with members and developing a strategic plan.

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HOSTS FIRST ALLIANCE CONFERENCE

In partnership with the University of North Carolina, Southern Historical Collection and  historic black towns in North Carolina including Navassa, Princeville and Pocahontas, HBTSA held a regional convening of historic towns. The convening was held on the campus of University of North Carolina and focused on building the capacity of each town to strengthen infrastructure and more.

MEMBER PROJECTS

Members of the HBTSA are an inspiring group of people focused on a collective vision for the organization. Additionally, the group has been busy working on individual projects that compliment each other across state and geographic lines. Please check out some of the projects below and check back often as the projects change periodically. 

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GRAMBLING’S NEW WALK OF FAME AND HISTORIC TRADITION

Mayor Ed Jones and honored guests along with local residents celebrated the grand opening of the Legends Square retail development with a ribbon cutting event and the induction of 24 people into Grambling, Louisiana’s new Walk of Fame. This is the beginning of a new legacy for Grambling – one that includes the city’s first grocery store in almost 50 years. The Legends Square retail development features a 48,300-square-foot plaza, which will include a full-service grocery store and pharmacy, new retail stores and a Walk of Fame honoring Grambling’s rich history and remarkable residents.

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PRAIRIE VIEW STUDENTS CREATE PLAN FOR INDEPENDENCE HEIGHTS

Independence Heights is well known as the first black municipality in the State of Texas. To preserve its history and become a part of the national heritage trail, the community is engaged in creating a historic placemaking design with Prairie View architectual students. ” This project is a step in the right direction for historic Independence Heights and has been a long time coming for our community” explains, Tanya Debose, executive director of Independence Heights Redevelopment Council. We need more projects like this in Texas to highlight the contributions of blacks in America.

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HOBSON CITY ALABAMA PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTING TOWN STORIES

Hobson City, Alabma, known as first black municipality in Alabama, is engaged in a creative writing and photography project. The project is in partnership with the University of Alabama and fueled by a $25,000 seed grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The project involves youth engaged in sharing their stories about growing up in Hobson City. According to, Dr. Michelle Bachelor Robinson, prject director, the money will help inspire others to get involved and allow more young people to join the effort. This project can be replicated in other communities and involve more youth.

FUTURE PROJECTS

Before the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance was established, we were all scattered and didn’t know much about each other. When we finally joined forces, we all agreed that we love where we live, work, worship and play. The members of our Alliance call different places home, from the South Carolina and the Gullah Geeche lands to the west coast in sunny California. We are deeply connected to these historic places. And when you love a place, you improve it.

HBTSA YOUNG LEADERS INSTITUTE

 

FUTURE PROJECTS-Youth leaders

Before the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance was established, we were all scattered and didn’t know much about each other. When we finally joined forces, we all agreed that we love where we live, work, worship and play. The members of our Alliance call different places home, from the South Carolina and the Gullah Geeche lands to the west coast in sunny California. We are deeply connected to these historic places. And when you love a place, you improve it.

Millenial Initiative

 

FUTURE PROJECT-Millennial leaders

Before the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance was established, we were all scattered and didn’t know much about each other. When we finally joined forces, we all agreed that we love where we live, work, worship and play. The members of our Alliance call different places home, from the South Carolina and the Gullah Geeche lands to the west coast in sunny California. We are deeply connected to these historic places. And when you love a place, you improve it.

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