The project will preserve and promote the historical records and legacy of Black Georgians and Americans who set the foundations for today’s Okefenokee region
Senator Reverend Warnock previously secured $497,000 for the park in the annual government funding package
The all-Black Civilian Conservation Corps unit laid the groundwork for the swamp’s infrastructure and status as a historical and ecological landmark
Senator Reverend Warnock: “I am proud to have secured half a million dollars in federal investments for this groundbreaking project paying homage to the legacy of Okefenokee Swamp’s Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1433”– WATCH HERE
Watch Senator Warnock’s remarks HERE
Washington, D.C. – On the first day of Black History Month, U.S Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock helped launch the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1433 Preservation Project with the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Okefenokee Swamp Park. Company 1433 was a group of nearly 200 Black workers who were instrumental to the foundation and development of the Okefenokee refuge from 1937 to 1941. In recorded remarks during an event with project archivists, park staff, community residents and stakeholders, Senator Warnock uplifted the legacy of the all-Black CCC unit that laid the groundwork for the swamp’s infrastructure and paved the way for the region’s status as a historical and ecological landmark.
“[Black History Month] is a time to recognize the importance of preserving and sharing the stories of these contributions that have often been overlooked ,” Senator Warnock said in his video message. “That’s why I am proud to have secured half a million dollars in federal investments for this groundbreaking project paying homage to the legacy of Okefenokee Swamp’s Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1433.”
Last October, Senator Warnock announced a nearly $500,000 federal investment for the Okefenokee Swamp Park to launch the historical preservation project and tell the untold story of Company 1433. The investment was made possible by the FY23 annual government funding package, championed by Senator Warnock. The project will collect, preserve, and digitize the historical records and manuscripts of Company 1433. The history of this all-Black CCC unit will be accessible via a centralized online database, public exhibitions at the Okefenokee Swamp Park, and classrooms across the South Georgia region–immersing students and visitors in an educational experience that will promote understanding, appreciation, and conversation of the historical and cultural significance of the CCC to the surrounding region.
WATCH the video of Senator Warnock’s full remarks HERE.
Read the full transcript of Senator Warnock’s video message below:
“Hello and Happy Black History Month, everybody. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock here. I am honored to celebrate the public launch of this historic project for the Okefenokee region.
February is a month we dedicate to celebrating Black history, which is American history. This is a month of remembrance and reflection, and a time to pay tribute to the invaluable contributions Black people have made to our American story.
It is a time to acknowledge their resilience and innovation, and honor the indelible mark they’ve left on our nation. And, it is a time to recognize the importance of preserving and sharing the stories of these contributions that have often been overlooked.
That is why I am proud to have secured half a million dollars in federal investments for this groundbreaking project paying homage to the legacy of Okefenokee Swamp’s Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1433.
Each day in the United States Senate I am not only working to forge a better future for generations of Georgians to come, but also to uplift the contributions of those who came before us and paved the way for our communities to prosper, so we may build on their progress and keep our nation moving forward.
Amid the Great Depression, here was a group of young Black men who helped build bridges and roads, plant trees, and create new local facilities, helping pave the way for the Okefenokee region as we know it today with its vibrant wildlife, cultural significance and natural beauty.
These civil servants were the embodiment of being the change we wish to see in the world. And thanks to your efforts to collect, preserve and uplift the story of Company 1433, you are shedding light on an overlooked chapter in our state and our nation’s story.
This community-driven project reflects the power of storytelling and honors the historical contributions of Black conservationists in South Georgia. And it will provide Georgians and folks around the world an educational experience that will help promote understanding and appreciation of the region’s historical and cultural significance.
As I think of Company 1433 and the work you all are doing, I am reminded of the words of Dr. King: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny, whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” Company 1433’s contributions to our state so long ago have helped keep Georgia moving forward, and every future generation of Georgians is indebted to their service.
Thank you again for your dedication and passion to preserving our history, and I look forward to seeing its success. Keep the faith and keep looking up.”