Documenting Iowa's 20th Century African American Civil Rights History
Funded by a National Park Service grant in 2018, this multi-year project is designed to document the sites and share the stories of the African-American struggle for equality in Iowa during the 20th century. The first statewide survey of its kind, this initiative seeks to identify people who are still unrecognized for the roles they played in civil rights history, as well as properties with undocumented connections to the Civil Rights Movement.
The list of properties includes homes, schools, businesses, restaurants, places of worship, government buildings, neighborhoods and more. As of 2018, the State Historic Preservation Office’s records include three properties on the National Register of Historic Places that are associated with African-American civil rights history during the 20th century.
- Buxton Historic Townsite
- Fort Des Moines
- Flynn-Griffin Building
Beyond the National Register of Historic Places, known sites include:
- The Martin House in Ames housed African-American students in the years before they were allowed to live on the Iowa State University campus.
- East High School in Waterloo was the site of a protest in 1969, when students successfully rallied the school to add black history to the curriculum and hire of more African-American teachers and counselors.
Suggest a Site
Please help us learn about the churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, homes, schools, government buildings, theaters or other sites associated with civil rights events or civil rights leaders in Iowa during the 20th century (1900-1999).
If you’d like to suggest a relevant site that should be added to the list, submit your information using the Civil Rights Property Form.
This project is funded in part by the African American Civil Rights Grant Program of the Historic Preservation Fund which is administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.