COLUMBIA, S.C. (courtesy benedict.edu and nps.gov) — Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, and Voorhees College have been selected for the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. Launched in March 2020, this national network connects sites across the country that provide education, interpretation, and research related to the Reconstruction Era – the period following the American Civil War in which the United States grappled with the challenges of reuniting the country and how to integrate millions of newly-freed African Americans into social, economic, political, and labor systems.
“I commend the National Park Service for taking bold and progressive steps toward inclusive education by creating the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. It is a testament to the enduring legacy and profound importance of HBCUs,” said Benedict College President and CEO Roslyn Clark Artis. “I am excited that our collective stories of resilience, leadership, and education will be highlighted as a part of a national network exploring the accounts of educated African Americans during the United States Reconstruction Era.”
Four other 2020 South Carolina additions to the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network include Clinton College, the Mather School, Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, and South Carolina State University.
Signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 12 ,2019, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act outlined the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network.
The first site added to the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network was the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park. Located in Beaufort, S.C., this site features the Reconstruction Era National Monument, established by a January 12, 2017 Presidential Proclamation by President Barak Obama, and surrounding historic properties. This Beaufort, S.C. national park provides the leadership and coordination for the entire Reconstruction network.
“The Reconstruction story is a national story,” said Scott Teodorski, National Park Service superintendent of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park. “It includes sites from all over the country. Some of the sites are managed by the National Park Service and many are not. The Reconstruction Era National Historic Network provides an opportunity to connect these sites and to connect visitors to their stories as part of the Reconstruction Era. We are very excited to welcome these new sites to the network and look forward to working with them.”