Since 1976, February has been reserved to honor the significant contributions of African Americans to our country. In celebration of National African American History month, GSA is highlighting some of the most significant buildings, artwork, and property in our inventory.
GSA manages several historic properties that played an important role in the history of African Americans, such as the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station in Alabama, home of the Freedom Rides exhibit. On May 20, 1961, a group of students staged a nonviolent protest at the bus station, precipitating a chain of events that led to the cessation of racial segregation in interstate travel. The terminal is now managed by GSA who leases it to the Alabama Historical Commission. It was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In New York, GSA has been committed to its African Burial Ground Project, which was one of the most significant archaeological finds in U.S. history. This 17th- and 18th-century cemetery was rediscovered in 1991 during the construction of a federal building in Lower Manhattan. Today, the ground floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Building includes four exhibit areas that feature a burial re-creation with five life-size wax figures and ambient sound that allows visitors to experience a sense of what a burial at the site might have been like.
To accompany the burial ground, GSA commissioned several pieces of artwork to be displayed. This African American artwork is meant to be a reminder of the history of African Americans, a tribute to their heroism and struggle for freedom, and honor the ancestors of New York’s African American community.
Preserving our nation’s history is an important part of GSA’s mission and we are proud to be a part of this year’s National African American History Month celebrations.