Pauli Murray’s childhood home in Durham – which became North Carolina’s newest National Historic Landmark on Wednesday – received a second round of support this week through a $237,575 federal grant.
The grant is part of $7.75 million that the National Park Service is giving 39 projects in more than 20 states. The money seeks to preserve and highlight sites and stories associated with the civil rights movement and the African-American experience.
Congress appropriated funding for the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund. The fund uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to support preservation projects.
“I am overwhelmed and tearful,” said Barbara Lau, director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center.
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The grant will help complete the renovation of the interior of the house, including the utilities. It will also allow the project to work on a landscaping plan.
“It going to go a long way to us opening to the public in 2020,” Lau said.
The Pauli Murray Project and other partners are restoring the home and converting the property into a community, history and social justice center.
Murray was raised in Durham in the modest house built in 1898. She organized civil-rights demonstrations in the 1940s and was a co-founder of the National Organization for Women. She was also the first female, African-American Episcopal priest.