In 1984, the Alabama Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, created the Black Heritage Council (BHC) to advocate for and advise the Commission on the preservation of African-American historic places in Alabama. At the time of its founding, the BHC was the first African-American advisory council of a state historic preservation office created in the country. In fact, the first members of the Black Heritage Council, including the Chair Emeritus and Founding Member Louretta Wimberly, assisted other states with setting up similar advisory councils.

The primary mission of the Black Heritage Council is to advocate for the preservation of African-American historic places in Alabama. It is the only statewide organization whose sole mission is the preservation of African-American Historic Places. The BHC includes a 21 all-volunteer board which consists of members throughout the state and representing public and educational institutions. The Council has played a key role in assisting communities throughout the state to document, interpret, preserve and promote African-American historic places like the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, the Town of Hobson City, First Baptist Church in Selma and many others.


The Black Heritage Council hosts quarterly meetings that are open to the public; partners with communities to sponsor preservation forums; co-sponsors Alabama's historic preservation conference; assists groups and individuals with the documentation and preservation of individual historic African American properties or historic districts.

If you have questions about upcoming preservation programs and activities sponsored by the Black Heritage Council, please contact Michelle Deberry at 334-230-2691 or


BHC Members by Congressional District


The Black Heritage Council sponsors historical markers and plaques commemorating Alabama's African American historical sites at least 40 years old. If an applicant has a place of interest with African American historical significance and would like the Black Heritage Councils' seal on the marker, please review and complete the fact sheet and the application below.


If you did not find your questions addressed here, please contact us.


All citizens are encouraged to join the Black Heritage Council network which is free and open to everyone. Please email your name, mailing address, and phone number.

Council board membership is by appointment only. If you would like to complete a membership form to be considered by the nominating committee, please email your contact information and resume to

The AHC’s GIS Historic Preservation Map has many African American Heritage sites plotted. Click HERE to begin exploring the interactive map to begin exploring the interactive map of historic properties. This web map represents a plot of properties and historic districts listed in our various preservation programs. Locational data on this map is considered highly accurate at all map scales, unless a specific disclaimer is made in the attribute data (typically after the property name). This map is currently a work in progress; however, the map automatically updates as new details and attachments are added. For those that prefer, this data is also available as a GIS REST Service for use with ArcGIS for Desktop. Details are listed on the map’s contents page.