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ASLA 2020 Residential Design Award of Excellence. Marshcourt, Cambridge, MA. Reed Hilderbrand >

The 2021 HALS Challenge: Historic Black Landscapes

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, HABS AL-898-22, Birmingham, Alabama. / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

For the 12th annual HALS Challenge, the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) invites you to document historic Black landscapes. Black people have built and shaped the American landscape in immeasurable ways. Examining these histories and spaces will expand our understanding of America’s past and future. From plantations to segregated cities, the nation’s landscapes retain the physical manifestations of our racist history. Yet historic Black landscapes also represent creative achievements and reflect Black culture, as seen in residential gardens, parks, and college campuses across this country. Documenting historic Black landscapes will reveal patterns of community that have been built over the course of four hundred years.
 
Some useful and inspiring resources:
 
African American Heritage | U.S. National Park Service
African American History: Places and People | National Trust for Historic Preservation
Telling Our Full Story | National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO)
 
The HALS Short Format History guidelines and digital template may be downloaded from the National Park Service's HALS website. Short format histories should be submitted by July 31, 2021.
 
For more information on the 2021 HALS Challenge, please see The Field. Each month between now and the July 31 HALS Challenge deadline, we’ll be showcasing historic Black landscapes that have already been documented for HALS on The Field. Coming up this month: a post by David Driapsa, FASLA, on the Smokey Hollow Community in Tallahassee, Florida.
 
Also coming up later this month: a live webinar on the 2021 HALS Challenge and how to participate. Stay tuned for details!

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