African American Civil Rights in Rhode Island

    Union Congregational Church Newport
    This building was erected in 1871 for the Union Congregational Church in Newport. The church traces its roots to an organization founded in 1780 as the Union Society of Free Africans and other Free Colored People of Newport.

    The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission is engaged in an ongoing project on the history of African American civil rights in Rhode Island. 

    RIHPHC is presently reviewing proposals (see link, below) from preservation consultants to complete a statewide survey of sites associated with the pre-20th-century struggle for African American civil rights in Rhode Island and to prepare an individual National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for one related property.

    This project is funded by an Under-represented Communities Grant from the National Park Service.

      The new effort will build off and expand upon an earlier project to document and interpret African Americans’ Struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island in the 20th Century. Collaborators included RIHPHC, Rhode Island Black Heritage Society (RIBHS), and Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS).

      The following materials were created for that project: