Allensworth Advisory Committee Department of Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting, Fresno, California
Tape I The April 18, 1975, Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Advisory Committee holds public hearing with the State Parks Commission for a review and discussion of the Allensworth development plan. Chairman Dr. Kenneth Goode, speaking on behalf of the Advisory Committee, presents on a revised proposal, the support received from national groups such as the NAACP, and the need to acquaint African-Americans with the parks system. Committee members George Pope, Jefferson Pierro, and Al Green comment on restoration plans for the town. Allensworth citizens Mrs. Herring, James Larkin, and Colonel Allensworth's granddaughter, Mrs. Smith respond to the proposed form of the park. Dr. Alexander Lark, of the California State University, Fresno, discusses the educational dimension of the project, strategies for teaching the history of the town, possible outreach opportunities, and the possibility for the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park to reinforce political awareness in African-American visitors. The State Parks Commission department presentation includes a review and discussion of the development plan, projected costs, and expenditures to date. Tape II. Continuation of the April 18, 1975, Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Advisory Committee public hearing with the State Parks Commission for a review and discussion of the Allensworth development plan. The Advisory Committee's revised plan is not accepted by the Parks Commission on the basis of not being in accordance with the historic unit administrative code. Parks Commissioners highlight the proposed educational complex and museum, which would include a Black Arts section, Hall of Black Fame, and section of historic exhibits including African-American figures in wax and bronze statues. The museum is determined to be beyond the scope of a historical unit. The general purpose of the park as a focal point for an African-American political voice under the revised plan is discussed as being beyond the interpretation of history and classification as a historic unit. State Parks Commissioners point to the park‚Äôs location as too far away from interested parties, and encourage the development of urban parks where African-Americans reside in greater numbers. The question is raised whether delays in approval resulted from being a historic unit proposed by African-Americans to honor an African-American leader. Recommendation is made for the historic site as outlined and restricted to the historical park boundaries. After the public hearing, Al Green conducts house to house visits with the townspeople of Allensworth to talk about the pilot plan for the rehousing and relocation of residents.
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