photo by John Morris
The historic Dr. M.T. Pope House needs your help. The downtown Raleigh landmark (built in 1901) has been selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the 100 historic organizations to participate in a challenge that could land the foundation grant funds up to $25,000.
You can find more information below about how you can register and vote for the Pope House on the National Trust website. If you are unfamilitr with the project, here's more history on the Pope House. And, Goodnight, Raleigh! has a great write-up on the house as well.
RALEIGH ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY CHALLENGEIN SUPPORT OF THE DR. M.T. POPE HOUSEThe Dr. M.T. Pope House Museum Foundation has been selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) as one of 100 historic preservation organizations nationwide to participate in a Community Challenge, which may result in up to $25,000 in grant funds.Help the Pope House win the challenge grant by voting for "The Pope House Museum Foundation"—first, register on the National Trust website; second, use the username and password sent to the registrant’s email to login and vote. In addition, visit their Facebook Page to “like this” and spread the word.The Dr. M.T. Pope House (511 S. Wilmington Street), maintained by the nonprofit Pope House Museum Foundation, is a highly significant African American historic resource that faces an uncertain future and urgently needs community support. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark, the property is recognized as a historically significant property both locally andnationally.While people know a good deal about African American history during the slavery and civil rights periods, far less is recognized about free blacks in the antebellum South. History books and museums largely ignore the century between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. The Pope House sheds light on these critical periods.Manassa Thomas Pope was born free -- as were his parents and grandfather. The Popes were prosperous, literate landowners in Northampton County, North Carolina. After receiving a B.A. and an M.D. from Shaw University, Dr. Pope went on to a full life as a physician, business man, family man, second lieutenant in the Third Regiment of North Carolina assigned to the Spanish-American War, freemason, Sunday school teacher, and politician.Dr. Pope helped found the Old North State Medical Society, an important statewide African American organization.He became an active Republican (the party of Abraham Lincoln) in the 1880s. In 1902, he registered to vote -- one of only seven men of color in Raleigh to do so -- successfully challenging a new state voting law aimed at keeping African Americans from voting. In 1919, Dr. Pope ran for mayor of Raleigh. Though he lost the election, Dr. Pope has the distinction of being the only known African American to run for mayor of the capital city of a Southern state during the Jim Crow era.The Pope House is located on S. Wilmington Street in Raleigh; its location, just one block from Fayetteville Street and five blocks from the State Capitol, speaks to Dr. Pope’s success in spite of segregation. It is also representative of the adjacent, vibrant, historically black East Raleigh-South Park National Register Historic District that is eroding due to downtown development. Many historic properties in this area already have been lost to development or neglect, and this property -- one of the most significant -- now is endangered.The highly esteemed Dr. John Hope Franklin, former James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University, stated, "The Pope House is a national treasure and should be appreciated as such."The Challenge closes June 30; voters may only vote once. For more information on the Dr. M.T. Pope House, visit www.popehousemuseum.org.