Society to Preserve Philadelphia African American Assets

The Society to Preserve Philadelphia African American Assets (SPPAAA), a 501C3 organization, will act to increase awareness and advocate to preserve Philadelphia African American history as represented by historic and culturally significant assets (properties, murals, monuments, placards, cemeteries, and archeological sites).

Help out when you can and be an advocate.


Save henry O Tanner HouseThe Friends of Henry O Tanner are currently raising funds that are 100% dedicated to the stabilization of the Henry O. Tanner House, a National Historic Landmark, located in North Central Philadelphia. Henry O. Tanner was an internationally acclaimed artist from the 19th century who hailed as the first African American artist to reach such a level of esteem.   The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia serves as the fiscal sponsor for the Friends of the Tanner House, ensuring that all donations made to the campaign are tax-deductible.

With the current owner’s enthusiasm and seed investment, plans are being made to transfer the property to non-profit ownership for long-term stewardship and reuse as a community cultural asset.

With your contribution, we can secure its future for generations of Philadelphia artists, intellectuals, changemakers, tourists, and visitors.

Visit – to make a donation.

Reach the Friends of the Tanner House directly at


Byberry Township African American Burial Ground

This is an unmarked and overgrown African American burial ground located in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This burial ground was founded by the Byberry Quaker Meeting in 1780. 243 years later, the land and stories of those buried here have all but been forgotten.

This land was set aside with the sole purpose to remain a final resting place for free and formerly enslaved Africans who lived in Byberry.  It was thought that this site was sold to the City of Philadelphia in 1980.  Our recent efforts have discovered a kink in this situation.

After learning about this in February 2022, we have taken this on as “adopted” stewards until we can get whoever are the “owners” to make this right.  We are currently partnering with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia on an initial grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to develop an Interpretation Plan.  We could use your ideas and input for the Interpretation Plan.  Complete our survey

This will otherwise be a long term effort to better maintain the site, establish borders, signage and determine who or how many are interred here.

Contact or invite our consultant to speak all about this project, Hannah Wallace, at 

Please donate.  Your donation will fuel the momentum that Hannah Wallace and future consultants will need to bring dignity to our ancestors.

Our Focus Areas

Oversight - Asset Identification

Identify historic and culturally significant real estate assets. Maintain a list of these over 500 historically significant properties .


Advocate to preserve our properties


Seek solutions and resources that provide funding for maintenance or sustainment. Monitor the historic designations: (e.g. historic markers, murals, historic commission designations, etc.) City, State and National.

Education & Awareness

Act to ensure representation of our history. Increase awareness through promotion, educational programs and events.

SPPAAA Happenings

Here’s the latest news, Blogs or upcoming events

You can help the cause. Be a Volunteer or a Member.
Here's How & Why

Informative - Maintain Awareness

As a volunteer or member, you can help us stay on top of things and learn in the process

Educational Programs & Events

Workshops, newsletters and more

Discounts on Products & Events

Member benefits vary by level. Please join us.

contact us

Society to Preserve Philadelphia African American Assets (SPPAAA)

6353 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Ph: 215-844-4200