A cultural, educational, and social space,
honoring Birmingham’s African-American community in the decades
leading up to the Civil Rights Movement.
WELCOME to The Ballard House Project, Inc.!
Birmingham, AL — If the walls of a 75 year old, 2-story building in Birmingham, Alabama could talk, what would they tell us today about decades of the city’s early history in the African-American community?
With ongoing research, collective resources, and oral histories, the walls of The Ballard House tell the story of a rich community legacy that is certain to give you pause: For instance, in 1908, just 43 years after the end of the Civil War, 37 years after Birmingham’s founding, the community consisted of more than 70 diverse businesses, owned by people of color. About 100 years ago, transformational civic and service organizations headed by African-Americans here, worked throughout Alabama to alleviate the pain and suffering of their neighbors. Despite the personal and professional barriers they experienced at home, extended families and acquaintances in the city and state formed a human tapestry of support to educate, house, protect, and lift others seeking a better life.
Race and experience are threads that some people perceive as separators. However, at The Ballard House Project, Inc., we believe we find common ground in our shared experiences and learn to value how our differences and unique experiences enhance us as individuals, families, communities, and as one country.
A 501C3 Non-Profit Charitable Organization
The Ballard House Project, Inc. is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to gathering, documenting, and sharing this history with children and adults within our community, state, and beyond. Located in the Birmingham Civil Rights Historic District, The Ballard House shares information and insight on how people of color lived, worked, socialized, and served their communities across the Magic City in the many decades leading up to its role on the 1960’s national and world stage.
The many facets of Birmingham’s African-American history, in the early decades of the 20th century, are rich, vibrant, and invaluable for our diverse community, state, and nation. Lessons learned today educate and inspire Birmingham and Alabama. The non-profit organization continues its work to renovate and re-program the site, listed by the National Register of Historic Places as a “Contributing Structure in the Birmingham Civil Rights Historic District” and designated by the Jefferson County Historical Society as an historic structure. As caretakers of a piece of Birmingham’s African-American history, we opened this treasure to the community in 2013 with transformative workshops, exhibits, oral histories, and special events.
The Ballard House Project, Inc. Mission
Over the last seven years, a core group of dedicated residents has worked to restore the building, bring a vibrant past alive, and share its relevance and lessons learned to children and adults today through comprehensive programming.
The Ballard House Project, Inc. (BH Project), seeks to preserve Birmingham’s African-American historic legacy and places. The organization hosts workshops, exhibits, and special events that educate children and adults while promoting awareness, dialogue, and a diverse community connection to its heritage and culture. Creating a cultural space & gardens with programming that honors the history of Birmingham’s African-American community from the early 1900’s, it strives to educate and inspire, enhance community identity, enrich dialogue and understanding, bridge areas of discord, and contribute to the cultural economy of Birmingham.
We welcome your interest, visit, and/or generous donation of an oral history or charitable donation to the mission of The Ballard House Project, Inc.
Majella Chube Hamilton
The Ballard House Project, Inc. Board of Directors:
Ross Gardner, MD; Odessa Woolfolk; Herschell L. Hamilton; Margaret Jones; W. Yvonne Hamilton;
Dr. Claude Jacobs; Al Folcher; Carol Clarke; Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr.