Historic Alabama Church From 'Bloody Sunday' Listed As 'Endangered'


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A historic Alabama church central to the Civil Rights Movement has been officially classified as an "endangered place."

The Brown Chapel AME Church, like many other churches across the country, closed its doors in 2020 during the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. When members were able to return, they found the landmark religious institution to be in disarray.

Termite damage made the structure unstable, member Juanda Maxwell told NBC News. Water damage and mold growth were seen all over the building where hundreds had gathered in March 1965 before voting rights protesters were attacked by Alabama State Troopers on the Edmond Pettus Bridge.

"It's in horrible shape," Maxwell said. "It's a tough time. Because we were closed for a year it exacerbated the problem with water coming in."

As a result, the iconic brick church topped this year's list of endangered national historic landmarks; a list that is curated by the DC-based nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Camp Naco, a base for Black Buffalo Soldiers along the US-Mexico border in Arizona that dates back as far as 1919 also made the list. Greensboro, North Carolina's Palmer Memorial Institute, a boarding school for Black children erected in 1902, was also listed as an endangered place.

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