Preservation forum begins at First Baptist

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

This weekend, Selma opens its doors to guests who wish to invest in the preservation of the city&8217;s history.

The two-day forum, organized by the Black Heritage Council, begins with registration at 9 a.m. today and Saturday at First Baptist Church, 709 Martin Luther King St. The theme of the forum is &8220;A heritage so rich: Discovering, preserving and promoting the history and culture of African Americans in the Black Belt through tourism.&8221;

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The annual forum have been held for past 10 years in communities around the state. It was held in Selma in 1995.

Information on heir property, rehabilitation tax credits for businesses in historic building, funding for historic houses, and setting up 501 c (3) organizations are some of the topics of the event.

The issues presented are specific to each community the forum impacts. The Black Heritage Council is a statewide advocacy group that aids places all over the state to give communities the tools to aid in their preservation projects.

“The community has to work together to determine what it is that makes their community special and unique and then work out strategies for preserving it,” said Walker.

Historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, the site of mass meeting during the 1960s that helped foster the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is one sites in need of preserving in Selma. The Rev. James Jackson hopes Brown Chapel’s members will gather valuable information to make further repairs on the church and to aid in future expansion.

Among the guests are Congressman Artur Davis, D-Ala., After his introduction at 9:30 a.m. today, Ella Bell of the State Board of Education will give the keynote address.

The sessions are $25 for one day or $45 for both days. The price includes lunch and tours of various historic sites around the area.