As UK researchers delve into the issue of racial bias in the recognition of Kentucky’s historic properties, they have uncovered evidence of a deep-rooted disparity in the acknowledgement of America’s Southern heritage.
Utilising their breadth of expertise in the fields of history, archaeology and preservation, the researchers from the University of Kentucky have identified a concerning imbalance in the consideration of heritage sites across the state.
Leading the investigation, Dr. Harlan Johnson has observed a stark contrast between the acknowledgment of sites that are associated with African-American culture and those with a Caucasian heritage.
“Our research has uncovered a noticeable lack of recognition given to African-American sites in Kentucky,” said Dr. Johnson. “It’s a worrying trend that needs to be addressed.”
In order to further analyse the issue, the researchers compared the number of African-American sites in Kentucky that have been registered with the National Register of Historic Places to those with a Caucasian heritage.
The results of the study, which are due to be published in the coming months, indicate that only 1.2% of African-American sites in the state have received such a designation, compared to 8.2% of Caucasian sites.
The researchers also noted a significant discrepancy in the funding allocated to sites of African-American heritage, which has been largely overlooked by state funding bodies.
“This is a wake-up call for the state of Kentucky,” said Dr. Johnson. “We need to ensure that all historic properties are treated with the same respect, no matter their origin.”
The UK researchers’ investigation into the racial bias in the recognition of Kentucky’s historic properties has illuminated a prevalent disparity in the acknowledgement of America’s Southern heritage. Their forthcoming findings suggest an unequal representation of African-American sites in the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a lack of financial support for their preservation.