(Forsyth County, GA) Applications are now open for qualified students to apply for the African American Descendants of Forsyth Scholarship for the 2023/2024 school year.
The scholarship was founded last year in February by a group of churches in Forsyth County to honor the descendants of the Black families who were expunged from the county in 1912 during a time of racial terror.
According to the Statement of Support, the scholarship is “an act of love that recognizes that an injustice was done and demonstrates that we feel compelled to help. This is not righting a wrong, giving justice to those offended, or any form of reparation but simply an act of love that does for a few what we wish we could do for everyone.”
In 2022, nine of these descendants were awarded up to $10,000 each in scholarships and honored with a ceremony at Browns Bridge Church where one recipient described the scholarship as “life-changing.”
They were also provided with mentors and seminars concerning their fields of study as well as interviewing and job acquisition skills by The Place of Forsyth County.
Two of the students graduated this year.
Despite being only one year old, the scholarship is already gaining notability in Georgia. The Atlanta History Center has made plans to record stories of these descendants to preserve them.
Napoleon Foster, a Black resident of the county and one of the scholarship committee members, noted how much has been done to acknowledge the past sins of the county.
“A marker has been placed in front of the courthouse, Leadership Forsyth has done an amazing job restoring the Tolbert Street Cemetery, a Black cemetery that had become overgrown and hidden, and the newest school in the county, New Hope Elementary School, is named after a Black school from the early 1900s that was destroyed,” Foster said.
Each scholarship recipient can receive up to $10,000 a year for four years. The final amount depends on the funds raised each year and on the student’s financial needs. Mentorship opportunities are also available to the students.
Applicants must meet the following requirements to qualify:
- Must be a descendant of African Americans expelled from Forsyth County in 1912
- Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA
- Demonstrate financial need
- Must write an essay detailing their family’s journey after their expulsion from the county
Applications close on April 30.
Durwood Snead, a retired pastor from North Point Ministries and one of the scholarship founders, said he is excited for the county to be a redemption story told for years to come.
“Forsyth County, where so much dark history took place, and the place that Oprah Winfrey called the most racist county in America has become a diverse, thriving community where everyone is welcome and love abounds,” Snead said. “We still have a way to go, but God is doing some exciting things here and we hope this can be a model for other communities.”
The foundation is looking for support from individuals and businesses to continue raising funds for future scholarships.
Donations can be made through the National Christian Foundation at ncfgiving.com or through the Forsyth Descendents Foundation website at forsythscholarship.com/donate.
For more information on the African American Descendants of Forsyth Scholarship, visit forsythscholarship.org.
If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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